Buhari Seeks Senate’s Confirmation of Yakubu as INEC Chairman

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Rallies international support to eliminate violence against women

Says Libya’s instability affecting Nigeria

By Omololu Ogunmade and Deji Elumoye

President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the name of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to the Senate for reappointment for the second and final five-year term as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Buhari has also rallied international support for the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

The president also yesterday said the instability in Libya is affecting all countries in the Sahel region, including Nigeria.

The President’s request for Yakubu’s confirmation was contained in a letter dated October 21, 2020, and read at plenary yesterday by the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan.

The letter reads: “In accordance with the provision of Section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the nomination of Professor Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission for a second and final term.

“While hoping that the Senate will consider and confirm the reappointment of the nominee, please accept Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

The President in another letter, requested the upper chamber to confirm Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru as National Commissioner representing the North West in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The Senate is invited to note that, this request is sequel to the resignation of Abubakar Ahmed Nahuche, National Commissioner representing North West, who served for four years in the Commission”.

Meanwhile, the President has also forwarded to the Senate for confirmation, his nominees as Chairman and Members of the Governing Council of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC), and National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

In a letter dated 12th November, 2020, the President requested the upper chamber to confirm the nomination of Ityav Joseph Terfa as Chairman of HYPADEC.

According to him, the request was made pursuant to Section 3(2) of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission Act.

Also to be confirmed are: Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa (Kebbi) as Managing Director; Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami (Kogi) as member; Taoheed Daud Toyin (Kwara – member); Hon. Mikail A. Bmitosahi (Niger – member); Saleh Mohammed Galadima Kanam (Plateau – member); Mr. Aminu Muhammed Ganda (Sokoto – member); and Chief Utum Eteng (Cross River – member).

In another letter dated November 5, 2020, President Buhari requested the confirmation of seven nominees as Chairman and members of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

In a related development, President Buhari in another letter requested the upper chamber to confirm the nomination of Umaru Farouk Aminu as full-time Commissioner representing the North-West Geopolitical Zone in the National Pension Commission.

Meanwhile, Buhari has rallied international support for the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

The president made the call in his speech to commemorate today’s International Day of Eliminating Violence against women.

November 25 of every year has been set aside by the United Nations (UN) as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and consequently, beginning from today, November 25 to December 10, the UN has declared “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.”

Buhari said his administration believed that the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms were fundamental to the attainment of 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

According to him, Nigeria had long been battling a gender-based violence with 30 per cent of women and girls from the age of 15 to 49 becoming victims of sexual abuse.

He also said he was aware that violence against women had been prevalent in Nigeria, describing the trend as unfortunate.

The president, who admitted that sexual violence increased during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria, implored the international community to support the mandate and operations of Human Rights Council in its efforts to strengthen institutions mandated to promote gender equality, empowerment and elimination of varying degrees of discrimination and violence against women and girls.

Buhari who said the Federal Government of Nigeria had evolved what he described as additional strategies to improve the quality of life for women and girls, added that the government had also redoubled its efforts to ensure women have access to productive ventures with their fundamental rights promoted.

The president then proceeded to highlight what he described as various measures put in place by his administration to put cases of sexual violence against women under control.

“The International Day of Eliminating Violence against Women therefore, presents a unique opportunity to highlight actions taken by the government to address violence against women and girls,” he said.

In another development, Buhari also yesterday said the instability in Libya is affecting all countries in the Sahel region, including Nigeria.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving a special envoy from President Idris Itno of Republic of Chad at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The statement was titled “As neighbours and brothers, we’ll always stand by Chad, President Buhari assures.”

According to the statement, Buhari promised that Nigeria will always be there for the Republic of Chad as citizens of both countries are not only neighbours but brothers.

He was also quoted as saying that Nigeria appreciates the support it is getting in tackling insecurity from the neighbouring country.

The President said, “We are aware of the problem Chad has with Libya, which supports some Chadian rebels, trying to destabilize the country.

“The instability in Libya after 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi affects all of us in the Sahel region

“From Mauritania to Central Africa Republic, Gaddafi recruited gunmen, who learnt to do nothing else than to kill.

“When the former Libyan leader was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms, and are wreaking havoc all over the place now.”

Stressing that Nigeria was grateful to Chad for the diverse kinds of support given to combat the Boko Haram insurgency, the President assured the country that Nigeria would always back up Chad in its local and international aspirations.