By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a second term of five years in office.
This followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC, which was presented by its Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, at plenary in Abuja.
Gaya in his presentation said there was no incriminating report against Yakubu and that he displayed high level of intelligence during screening besides having requisite qualification.
He added that the nominee had not participated in any political rally and was not a member of any political party.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said Yakubu has the comportment, temperament and intelligence expected of the office.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should be commended because he saw what the majority of Nigerians saw in the way and manner Prof. Yakubu conducted the affairs of INEC in the last five years.”
He said that the committee by recommending Yakubu for a second term, showed that the committee recognised the limitations placed on INEC by the enabling law, the Electoral Act.
“By this, they have come up with creative ideas on how we can sanitise the system by recommending the nominee,” Omo-Agege said.
Senator Sandy Onor (Cross River South) described Yakubu as “an unbiased umpire,” adding that, “he’s moving in the right direction.”
“The nominee has demonstrated competence, has shown indeed that he was an unbiased umpire. Today politicians don’t go into elections scared of whether they will be oppressed or not.
“Going by his performance on the first term that he will do even better this second term. I’m looking forward to a situation where we will digitalise our processes even more,” Onor said.
Senator James Manager (Delta South), who also supported the nomination and encouraged the INEC chief to protect his name and leave a leqacy greater than the one he had made.
He noted that Yakubu has displayed rare courage and impartiality in the conduct of elections during his first term.
He also asked him to be wary of INEC staff that might be compromised because he had responsibility to do the job.
“I urge the nominee that he should be more cautious of the INEC staff. This is because the name he will make when renominated is more important than his achievements in the past.
“He should do the job to leave a legacy that is more than what he had achieved,” Manager said.
Senator Gabriel Suswam (Benue North East) said Yakubu had brought credibility to the electoral process because “he is a man of integrity.”
The upper chamber also confirmed the nomination of Sanusi Garba as Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Also confirmed was Dr. Musiliu Olalekan Oseni and Aisha Mahmud as Vice Chairman and National Commissioner of the NERC respectively.