After An Alleged Lobby For Tenure Renewal Was Ignored, The Inec Chairman Leaves Office Downcast
Our Reporter Professor Attahiru Jega, yesterday exhausted his tenure as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the expiration of his five year term in office. He unceremoniously handed over to Ambassador Mohammed Wali, a national commissioner representing Sokoto State pending the appointment of a new Chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari. He conducted the handover in a closed door session.
The chairman who conducted the 2011 and 2015 general elections said he took time to identify Wali as the man to lead the commission after him. Some officials present at the handover ceremony said the chairman was downcast as he made his short speech before his final exit. The source said “his voice lost its firmness and confidence with which the professor addressed matters as he predicted that the future was very bright for the commission and the Nation in general, in electoral processes”. Tenure of the Acting Chairman is however expected to expire on August 11.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja shortly after the indoor handingover ceremony Jega expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and the country for the opportunity given him, and other INEC management staff, to serve the country. He said himself and his team at INEC had laid a solid foundation for free, fair and acceptable elections to the nation and the international community Jega, who was visibly downcast, also said “we feel great; we thank God Almighty for the opportunity given to us to serve the country; the future is very bright for the commission and the country’’.
Jega commended the level of cooperation he received from the staff of the Commission and other stakeholders which he said assisted him in having a successful tenure and urged them to extend similar gesture to the incoming INEC boss. Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, who also spoke at the indoor ceremony said the President would take the next action while Amb. Wali