Ahmed Muazu takes over at INEC as Professor Yakubu vacates seat

Air Vice-Marshal, Ahmed Muazu, has been announced as the interim chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Erstwhile chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu made the disclosure on Monday in his remarks at the handover ceremony.

Yakubu whose tenure for a fresh term of five years has been renewed by President Muhammadu Buhari said he needed to vacate his office, pending his confirmation by the Senate.

Professor Yakubu thanked the staff of the Commission, the Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, and others for the support he enjoyed in the last five years having assumed office on November 9, 2015.

He said: “You may recall that the current Commission was inaugurated in three batches. The Chairman and five Commissioners were sworn-in on November 9, 2015, followed by another six Commissioners on December 7, 2016, and one more Commissioner on July 21, 2018. The Commission is a constitutional body whose members are appointed for five years which may be renewed for a second and final term. This means that my tenure and that of the first set of five Commissioners ends today.

“As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as Chairman of the Commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Our work as election managers requires us to enforce the law, regulations and guidelines. In doing so, we must demonstrate strict respect for, and compliance with, the Constitution of Nigeria and subsidiary laws.

“Consequently, it will be inappropriate for me to remain in office beyond today, November 9, 2020, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.

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“Pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining National Commissioners have resolved that AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd) will oversee the affairs of the Commission. It is therefore my pleasure to hand over to him in the interim. We have worked as a team for the last four years. Therefore, there is nothing new to any one of them.

“I wish to express my appreciation for the support of the Commission members, the Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, the Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Directors, members of the technical team, heads of the various security agencies deployed to INEC and all staff of the Commission nationwide. I look forward to working with you again.”

AVM Muazu in his acceptance speech said there was nothing spectacular in his new role at the Commission. He recalled that several National Commissioners have assumed the office of Chairman of the Commission in acting capacity anytime Professor Yakubu was outside the country.

He promised to work diligently and conscientiously to justify the confidence reposed in him.

“All national commissioners have at one time or the other acted in his absence. I want to assure you that I will handle the affairs of the Commission diligently.”

Checks by Tribune Online revealed that until his temporary elevation, AVM Muazu, a Commissioner in INEC was in charge of logistics for the 2019 general elections.

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