… As FEC observes one minute silence in honour of late Domkat Bali
By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for his second five-year term.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the Executive Council Chambers of the State House in Abuja, briefly before the weekly virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting commenced.
Meanwhile, before swearing-in ceremony of the INEC Chairman and the weekly meeting, members of the Federal Executive Council, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, held a minute silence in honour of former Minister of Defense, the late Major General Domkat Bali.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after his swearing-in, Professor Yakubu said preparations were already ongoing on how to ensure an acceptable general elections in 2023.
According to him, the INEC had, in collaboration with the National Assembly, commenced a process of delivering an amended electoral legal framework in record time.
“We have clearly demonstrated in recent elections that elections are getting better and they will continue to get better.
“The National Assembly is holding a public hearing on the amendment of the electoral legal framework. This is important and this time around, working with the National Assembly, we’ll ensure a speedy passage of the amendment bill and once it is assented to, it will help us enormously in confronting the challenges ahead.
“The preparations for 2023 general elections have proceeded in earnest, we need certainty and therefore the electoral legal framework is fundamental, without which we cannot formulate our regulations and guidelines. Without our regulations and guidelines, we cannot conclude work on the manual for the training of ad-hoc staff for the elections.
“So from here, I am going to proceed to the National Assembly, so work begins in earnest and we have already started”, he said.
Buhari reappointed Yakubu as Chairman of INEC) for another five-year term on October 27th. He is the first chair to be reappointed to head the commission.
Meanwhile, the week’s virtual FEC meeting is being attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Munguno (Rtd).
Eleven ministers are physically attending the meeting, including the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Works and Housing, Mr Babtunde Fasola; Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk; and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello.
Others are Ministers of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah and Abubakar Aliyu.
The Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and other ministers are participating in the weekly council meeting from their various offices in Abuja.