Mild drama at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which saw to the end of an era of the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, formally handed over to Amb. Ahmed Wali as acting chairman of the electoral body.
“Clearly the President knew all along that the INEC Chairman’s tenure had elapse but kept mute and didn’t say who was to take over from Jega, in line with the electoral act, Jega handed over the person he was confident with” says a staff of the commission who doesn’t want his name mentioned..
Following the handover, Jega said the future of the country and the commission were in safe hands. However, after about eight hours as acting chairman, Wali was replaced as acting chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari who designated another national commissioner, Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari as acting chairman.
“We at the Commission headquarters were all confused as to the level of politics that was playing out since the President wasn’t forth-coming with a replacement only to act after an acting chairman had been handed over to.” Another staff of the maitama office tells NewsWireNGR..
Jega, who was appointed five years ago by former President Goodluck Jonathan, bowed out with six national commissioners who were appointed the same day with him.
The commissioners who retired with Jega yesterday were Cojl. M.K. Hammanga (Adamawa), Dr Ishmael Igbani (Rivers), Prof. Lai Olurode (Osun), Dame Gladys Nwafor (Abia), Mrs Thelma Iremiren (Delta) and Dr Nuru Yakubu (Yobe).
“Wali was selected because his tenure will expire on August 11 with the hope that by then the government may have taken a decision on who to give the responsibility of running the commission for the next five years.” according to Secretary of the commission.
Following the handover to Wali, the Head of Service of the federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi in a statement announced President Buhari’s decision to appoint Mrs. Zakari as acting national chairman of the commission. He said the appointment is with effect from June 30, 2015 until the appointment of a substantive chairman.
Mrs Zakari is senior to Wali and she is due for retirement July 31.