The Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere and a nonprofit organisation Centre of Democracy and Development, have expressed opposing views over whether or not the tenure of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, should be renewed as it ends on November 9 2020.
In a telephone interview with The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Sunday, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said Yakubu’s successor “should be from one of the Southern zones.”
However, the Director of the CDD, Idayat Hassan said since the outgoing INEC chairman could be reconsidered for reappointment since he was “eligible to serve a second term.”
They were responding to questions on the assessment of Yakubu, qualities of his successor, zoning of the next INEC chairman and whether he should be reappointed.
Odumakin said “He has done his best in the toxic political environment of Nigeria. The most difficult job in Nigeria is INEC chair.
“The person after him must be ready to improve on the system and earn more confidence from the electorates. The INEC chair alone cannot give free and fair election. It is about leading a process that involves different segments of the polity.
“The next chair should be from one of the Southern zones. The law allows reappointment but it takes some level of craziness for anybody to want to do that job twice.”
On her part, the CDD boss said, “The chairman resumed listening and responding immediately to some earlier issues raised such as the arduous nature of the modified open ballot system and changed to simultaneous accreditation and voting immediately.
“However, it has not been Uhuru so far with the way elections have been disrupted and processes subverted. But it is also good as finally we have been made to realize that unless the nature of politics changes, there can’t be substantial change in the system. He has not had it well with the way politicians have carried on to subvert the process.
“The truth is many chairpersons have not pursued a second term because of the stress they go through while on the job. A National Commissioner can serve two terms, so Yakubu is eligible to serve a second term. In fact, there should be job security as in Ghana.”