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The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Prof Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Yakubu was first appointed as INEC chair on October 21, 2015, by President Muhammadu Buhari. He was reappointed after his first tenure lapsed in October this year.
His confirmation followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano).
While presenting the committee’s report, Gaya said the nominee possessed the requisite qualifications for the INEC top job and therefore recommended his confirmation.
Opposition senators, who spoke after the presentation of the report, backed Yakubu’s nomination, saying that he’s unbiased and apolitical.
Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe commended Yakubu for the technological innovations he introduced at INEC, especially the transmission of election results to the central portal from polling units.
A PDP senator from Cross River, Sandy Onor said ‘He’s moving in the right direction and we should give him the necessary support.’
Senate President Ahmad Lawan congratulated the nominee and wished him success in his second term.
Prof Yakubu had, during his screening last week, said he would deepen the use of technology in the conduct of elections in his second term as chairman of the commission.
He said deployment of technology had helped improved Nigeria’s electoral processes despite misgivings from some quarters on its efficacy.
Yakubu said that the Commission was working hard to ensure that scheduled elections are not postponed again.
Prof Yakubu blamed low voter turnout during elections on the poor performance of political office holders, electoral violence, and lack of voter mobilisation.
He however said the Commission would continue to work hard in the area of voter education. He also stressed the need for political parties to do more in mobilizing voters during elections.
Prof Yakubu also appealed to the National Assembly to expeditiously conclude work on the amendment of the Electoral Act latest by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
He also said the Commission needs to construct strong rooms in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT to prevent smart card readers and other election materials from burning in case of fire incident.