Buhari, Osinbajo Pictured With Son Of INEC Boss, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo, captured this moment at the swearing in of the new INEC Boss and shares it on IG. He captions:
President Buhari and Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo  with the son of the newly sworn in INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu. That look in the eyes of the young man though!

13 Political Parties Blast PDP, Support Buhari On New INEC Boss’ Appointment

The Coalition of Progressive Political Parties, an umbrella organisation for 13 registered political parties in Nigeria, has condemned the statement issued by the Peoples Democratic Party on the appointment of the acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission,

President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Amina Zakari, acting chairman of INEC, hours after the outgoing chairman, Attahiru Jega, had handed over to Ahmad Wali.

The PDP condemned Mr. Buhari’s action and demanded its reversal.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday and signed by the chairman of the coalition, Bashir Ibrahim, the parties decried what they described as “the dangerous precedent whereby a political party is trying to decide for the country who becomes the INEC Chairman”.

Mr. Ibrahim said the appointment of the INEC chairman was constitutionally reserved for the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Assembly.

In reference to a statement made in Abuja on Wednesday by the PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, rejecting the appointment of Mrs. Zakari, the coalition warned that “any interference by political parties in the appointment of INEC officials is tantamount to politicising the process and the Commission itself, which is capable of creating dangerous schism in the Commission and generating unnecessary tension in the country.”

“INEC is an independent election management body which must be insulated from politics and irresponsible politicking,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

“The power of and procedure for the appointment of the Chairman of INEC is a constitutional matter and not subject of bargaining by political parties, especially those who are yet to come to terms with the fact that Nigeria is on a very strong change trajectory. INEC is also a regulator of political parties. It is an anomaly for the parties, which the Commission regulates, to dictate who becomes the its chairman. Obviously, for some parties, it is still midnight.

“Mrs. Zakari was not appointed to the Commission by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. She was appointed as INEC National Commissioner by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 and by the time she was appointed acting INEC chairman, she had the distinction of being the most senior INEC National Commissioner in terms of time served.

“She is well educated and had served the Commission as chairman of a number of its committees, including the sensitive Election and Political Party Monitoring Committee during President Jonathan’s administration. If she is good to be a national commissioner of INEC and chairman of its committees under President Jonathan, then she is good to be the Commission’s acting chairman at any other time.”

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PDP Demands Removal Of New Acting INEC Boss

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded the removal of the newly appointed acting chairperson of the Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, Amina Zakari.

Ms. Zakari was appointed as head of INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari hours after its former chairman, Attahiru Jega, handed over to Ahmed Wali, a national commissioner there.

Addressing a press conference in his office Wednesday, PDP’s publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the party was disturbed by the development in INEC where Mr. Buhari, who knew all along that the immediate-past INEC Chairman, Mr. Jega, would be leaving office by June 30, but had to wait for him to handover to one of the national commissioners only to reverse it immediately, thereby injecting bad blood in the commission.

“The situation in INEC since the PDP government reformed and granted it operational autonomy has been peaceful, but Tuesday’s untidy overruling of Prof. Jega and appointing of Mrs. Amina Zakari as acting chairman which, we gathered was influenced by personal relationship with the Presidency and one of the new governors of the North West, ostensibly to pave the way for the APC at the electoral tribunals, has completely eroded public trust in the commission,” he said.

Mr. Metuh said although the PDP recognizes the right and powers of the President to appoint the Chairman of INEC and others, such as that of the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, which was done recently, he said the party rejects attempts to paint the process as transparent and objective when such was not the case.

“In INEC, the PDP states in unequivocal terms that we cannot, as critical stakeholders, fold our hands and watch while the Presidency perpetuate actions that diminish the independence of the electoral commission.

“The PDP has declared the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as unacceptable and demands that President Buhari changes her immediately,” he said.

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My Only Regret As INEC Boss- Jega

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega on Monday reviewed his tenure as the head of the electoral body.

Jega, who spoke in Abuja during a retreat organised for electoral officers of the commission where the report of the 2015 elections was reviewed, said his only regret was his inability to create a separate salary structure for INEC workers.

He said apart from the special salary issue, the commission under his watch performed well. Jega noted that the 2015 general elections were better than those of 2011.

Jega’s tenure as the Chairman of the commission expires at the end of June.

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