Apparently peeved by the recent partisan debates regarding his appointment, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has expressed his resolve to depoliticize the commission”so that INEC will no longer be an issue in our elections”.
He said he has witnessed elections in other climes where the identity of the chief electoral officer was not a subject of partisan debate, saying the time has come for Nigeria to join the league of advanced democracies.
Yakubu spoke yesterday when he received in audience the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright in Abuja.
According to the INEC boss, his first priority at the commission is to bring professionalism into election administration in the country and as well “instutionalize ICT-based solutions”.
He added that, “the success of the last general elections and the recent inconclusive governorship election in Kogi was made largely possible with the deployment of ICT”.
Yakubu also pledged to improve engagement with major stakeholders for maximum participation, with emphasis on women, youths, the disadvantaged, internally-displaced persons and other vulnerable groups.
While seeking more technical assistance from the UK government, Yakubu said he would ensure that the commission consolidates on its modest successes in the last general elections.
In his remarks, Arkwright expressed the readiness of his home government to partner with INEC in order to deepen Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the British government looks forward to getting a comprehensive brief from INEC stating major areas of necessary assistance.