Elec­tions won’t be de­cided in INEC of­fices – Prof Yakubu

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ismail Mu­dashir & Chidimma C. Okeke

The newly ap­pointed chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC), Pro­fes­sor Mah­mood Yakubu yes­ter­day said he would con­sol­i­date on the suc­cesses recorded by his pre­de­ces­sor, Pro­fes­sor At­tahiru Jega.

“I want to as­sure the dis­tin­guished Sen­a­tors and Nige­ri­ans that un­der my watch no elec­tion will be won and lost at the INEC head­quar­ters or at the Com­mis­sion’s of­fices in states, “Yakubu said when he ap­peared be­fore the Sen­ate for con­fir­ma­tion.

Yakubu was later con­firmed by the Sen­ate along­side five Com­mis­sion­ers of the Com­mis­sion.

The com­mis­sion­ers con­firmed are: Amina Bala Zakari (North-west), Dr. An­to­nia Taiye Okoosi-Sim­bine, (North-Cen­tral) Al­haji Baba Shet­tima Arfo (North-East), Dr. Mo­hammed Mustapha Lecky (South-South) and Mr. Soyebi Ad­edeji Solomon (South-West).

Ac­cord­ing to him, “the suc­cess of any elec­tion de­pends on the abil­ity of the Com­mis­sion to or­gan­ise, ar­range elec­tions prop­erly and in ad­vance. But in this coun­try, we have this cul­ture of last minute and rush.”

On elec­tronic vot­ing, he said: “It is de­sir­able and in­evitable. If you look at the tra­jec­tory from the last 10 years, the vot­ers reg­is­ter comes in an elec­tronic form. Ini­tially, it was just a reg­is­ter, then pho­to­graphs were added. And in the last elec­tion, both pho­to­graphs and bio­met­ric were added.”

On Di­as­pora vot­ing, he said the process for Nige­ri­ans abroad to vote must be quicken.

Speak­ing af­ter the con­fir­ma­tion, Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki said the new INEC boss and five Com­mis­sion­ers pos­sessed the cred­i­bil­ity to con­sol­i­date on the suc­cesses recorded in the elec­toral body.

Mean­while, Prof. Jega has rec­om­mended a thor­ough re­form of the elec­toral process be­fore the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions to cor­rect mis­takes of the past.

He was speak­ing yes­ter­day in a lecture ti­tled: “Elec­toral re­forms in Nige­ria: Chal­lenges and prospects” at Univer­sity of Abuja pub­lic lecture se­ries.

He also ad­vo­cated the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Jus­tice Muhammed Uwais Elec­toral Re­forms Com­mit­tee.

Macjohn Photo

Chair­man, In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, Prof. Mah­mood Yakubu, dur­ing his con­fir­ma­tion by the Sen­ate at the Na­tional As­sem­bly in Abuja yes­ter­day.

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