INEC: Setting Yakubu’s second term agenda
By Adegboyega Adekola
President Muhammadu Buhari’s move on Tuesday to re-appoint Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) comes with a number of implications.
Immediately after notice of the re-appointment was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement issued in Abuja, the commentary waves went a-buzzing.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.
“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said in accordance with the provision of Section 154 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), ‘I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the nomination of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a second and final term.”
Yakubu was first appointed the INEC chairman in November 2015.
While no one is faulting the president’s legal choice to re-appoint the incumbent INEC chairman, questions are however being raised as to whether it may not have been expedient for the President to use the opportunity of the nomination of an INEC chief to signal a shift of sorts in the political temper of the nation going forward.
However, now that Yakubu has been nominated for a second term, and with the National Assembly very likely to clear him, analysts say the thing to do now is to remind him of the imperative of ensuring the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections going forward. This they say would be about the only meaningful second term agenda that can be set for Mahmood Yakubu at this time when the nation clearly needs an election system and institution that would engender public trust and confidence.