President Muhmmadu Buhari of Nigeria on Wednesday swore-in Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the second and final five-year term in office.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, before the commencement of the weekly virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council, (FEC).
It will be recalled that the Senate had on Dec. 1, confirmed the nomination of Yakubu for re- appointment as Chairman of INEC.
His confirmation by the Senate followed the presentation of the report of its Committee on INEC by the Chairman, Sen. Kabiru Gaya, during plenary.
Buhari had on Nov. 25, transmitted to the Senate for confirmation, the nomination of Yakubu for a second term in office. The president reappointed Yakubu as Chairman of INEC for another five-year term on Oct. 27.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is the first chair to be reappointed to head the commission in recent history.
The chairman, who spoke to State House correspondents after taking his oath of office, pledged to redouble efforts towards ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.
He reiterated the commitment of INEC to partner with the National Assembly (NASS) in ensuring speedy passage of the amendment of the electoral legal framework.
He said: “We have clearly demonstrated in recent elections that elections are getting better and they will continue to get better.
“The National Assembly is holding a public hearing on the amendment of the electoral legal framework.
“This is important and this time around, working with the National Assembly, we will ensure a speedy passage of the amendment bill and once it is assented to, it will help us enormously in confronting the challenges ahead.
“The preparations for 2023 general elections have proceeded in earnest; we need certainty and therefore the electoral legal framework is fundamental, without which we cannot formulate our regulations and guidelines.
“Without our regulations and guidelines, we cannot conclude work on the manual for the training of ad hoc staff for the elections.
“So from here, I am going to proceed to the National Assembly, so work begins in earnest and we have already started.’’