***We will ensure speedy passage of amendment bill – INEC boss
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore-in Professor Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The swearing-in took place at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, before the commencement of the 27th virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting.
Buhari reappointed Yakubu as Chairman of INEC for another five-year term on October 27. He is the first chair to be reappointed to head the commission.
At the Council meeting also presided by President Buhari, a minute silence was observed for late Gen. Domkat Bali, who served the country as Minister of Defence during the military era.
Physically present at the Council Chamber are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, and the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Munguno (retd).
Also physically present were eleven Ministers, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk.
Others were the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, Ministers of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah and Abubakar Aliyu.
The Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan and other ministers are participating in the weekly council meeting from their various offices in Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents, Professor Yakubu 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’ll 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.”