President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday announced the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission and also named five new national commissioners for the electoral body.
Their appointments was consequently approved at the first meeting of the Council of State presided over by Buhari. This was disclosed to State House correspondents by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State after the meeting.
The new national commissioners include:
Mrs. Amina Zakari, who was made the Acting National Chairman of INEC following the retirement of former Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega in June, was appointed a National Commissioner representing the North-West. The four other Commissioners appointed by Buhari includes: Dr. Anthonia Okoosi-Simbine, North Central, Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo (North-East); Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky (South-South) and Mr. Soyebi Adedeji Solomon (South-West).
The South-East is believed to be left out because it still has a sitting national commissioner.
Yakubu was until his appointment the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, and is said to have taught War and Society in pre-colonial Africa. He is an expert in guerrilla warfare, terrorism and counter-terrorism.
Reports gathered that the earlier delay in the appointment of a substantive Chairman of INEC as well as national commissioners have raised concerns in the polity as pundits argued that their absence will place the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections on a slippery ground.
The thinking of such analysts is that the courts can nullify the elections, billed for the next two months, on the basis of INEC not being properly constituted as required by the 1999 constitution as amended. But Wednesday’s appointments is believed to have put paid to this fear.