Senate confirms Mahmood Yakubu as INEC chairman

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About a week after President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for confirmation, the Senate has confirmed Mahmood Yakubu as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The confirmation is for a second and final term.

Although the president’s letter was read at the Senate last week, he had, on October 27, announced his decision to reappoint the INEC boss.

Mr Yakubu was first appointed INEC chairman in November 2015 taking over from Attahiru Jega, who supervised the 2015 general election.

His confirmation was sequel to the presentation of the report of the Senate committee on INEC.

Kabiru Gaya, chairman of the committee, said Mr Mahmood was found suitable for the position, with no petition or incriminatory report against him.

“The nominee displayed (a) high level of intelligence. He is not affiliated to any political party and has never participated in any political campaign.

“The nominee also meets all the requirements for this position,” he told the Senate as he urged the lawmakers to confirm Mr Yakubu.

Some senators took turns to praise the president for reappointing the INEC boss and commended the nominee for a job well done in previous elections.

Mr Yakubu is expected to resume immediately.

During his screening, he had said the Commission will try to get the required materials ahead of the polls – for the success of future elections.

“What we intend to do this time around is that things that we require for the election we shouldn’t wait until the election year. There are some critical aspects of our work that have to be concluded next year. We just have to find the resources to do so.

“We have to undertake 1508 activities in 814 days for us to deliver in the 2023 general elections. We have only two years, two months and two weeks,” he told the panel.

He also appealed for the construction of 37 strong rooms across the country to prevent destruction of electoral materials.

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