The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday assumed office to commence his second tenure for a period of five year.
Yakubu at the expiration of his first tenure on November 9 handed over the affairs of the commission to National Commissioner, Ahmed Mu’azu, while awaiting senate confirmation for second tenure.
Yakubu, at a brief takeover ceremony at the commission headquarters in Abuja said that quick passage of the Electoral Act amendment remained a top priority.
“You will recall that I appealed to the Senate Committee on INEC during my screening two weeks ago to conclude work for the passage of the Electoral Act amendment by the first quarter of 2021.
“I am glad that in his response, the Senate President has assured the nation only yesterday at the public hearing on the Electoral Act amendment that the National Assembly is committed to that target.
“He said that it is not only achievable but they will ensure that it is actualized.”
Yakubu added that the immediate area of attention for the commission would be the resumption of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) by the first quarter of 2021.
He said that the exercise would continue for at least six months to the 2023 general elections.
“We will also use the opportunity as required by law to clean up the register of voters.
“We are happy with our register of voters. It is robust but will continue to see ways by which we can improve the quality of the register.
“I am saying so because the credibility of any democratic election draws from the credibility of the register of voters.
He added that without clean register of voters, there could not be a credible election, assuring that INEC was committed to cleaning up the register of voters.
“In doing so, we hope to introduce a new technology for voters enrollment in 2021 drawing from the lessons we learnt in the last exercise in 2017 and 2018.”
Yakubu promised that in due course, INEC would give details of other activities going to the 2023 election.
“We have exactly 799 days to the next general election holding on February 18, 2023 .
“We have identified 1508 activities that we must accomplish between now and election in 2023. Some will be carried out simultaneously.”
Yakubu thanked the former acting Chairman, Mu’azu and other national commissioners for holding forte in the last one month and for the successful conduct of 15 by-elections in 11 states on December 5.
Earlier in his remarks, Mu’azu said that while holding forte, the commission was able to conduct 15 by-elections successfully.
He commended members and staff of the commission for their supports and successes recorded while awaiting Yakubu’s confirmation.
He also commended all stakeholders who made the by-elections a success.