INEC: Yakubu to Mu’azu transition and tragedy of stupidity, By Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe

Posted by News Express | 15 November 2020 | 1,015 times

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•Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe


Air Vice-Marshal Ahmed Mu'azu (retd) is one of the finest and the best Military Air Traffic Controller in African history. He is an upright man, full of integrity and humility, but firm and a no-nonsense person. Among all other military commands he held, anyone who cares to know should go to Jaji and find out how he transformed the Command and Staff College during his tenure as Commandant and also the community relations he improved with the Jaji host communities.

So he is well-equipped to be a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and also qualified to be the Acting INEC chairman. Before anyone calls him names, Ahmed is never an ambitious person. I can bet with anything, including my life, he never lobbied to be Acting Chairman. As Prof Mahmood Yakubu said while stepping aside: that Commissioners themselves agreed that Ahmed Mu'azu should be Acting Chairman. So be it!

Yakubu, on his part, is a fine academician, a thorough person. In case many don't know, this is the man that went to all the 72 (government-owned) universities to document the needs of our universities; his fantastic Report is one of the sources of conflict between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria. There has never been any known exercise in history that documents the needs of our universities like the one conducted by Yakubu. Away from this, the professor is an extraordinary human being; an establishment person who plays by the rules. What he did by stepping aside pending his confirmation by the Senate as required by Law is not known to Nigerians and Nigeria. For a man to decide to hand over such a lucrative multi billion naira institution and respect establishment rules of engagement at a time when the President has transmitted a letter to the Senate for his confirmation for another term is extraordinary and unprecedented. What is even more extraordinary is his timing and the style he did that.

I have entered INEC office twice in my life. Once in Lagos, at Tafawa Balewa Square, when a former INEC Chairman, late Prof Eme Awa invited me to see him, when I helped him carry a bag, as an elder, he was holding when he came out of a supermarket at Falomo, Lagos; the second time in Abuja headquarters when I went to see my friend Dr Chris Iyomoga, a former INEC Commissioner from Nasarawa State.

I understand that some staff were crying when Yakubu was leaving his office Monday. That is a good man. How many Nigerians have ever tried what Yakubu did?

Some will stay, use INEC money and bribe the National Assembly to confirm him quickly. If all public servants holding tenure-related positions will step aside at the expiration of their tenure, pending confirmation, this country will be better. What Prof Yakubu did deserves commendation and not condemnation, simply because he handed over to Mu'azu.

Those stupid commentaries that are flying around about Yakubu to Ahmed transition is the most stupid commentaries one can imagine. Besides, for their ignorance, take a look at the INEC leadership from inception to date:

  1. Eyo Esua (1960-1966)
  2. Michael Ani (1976-1979)
  3. Victor Ovie-Whiskey (1983)
  4. Eme Awa (1987-1989)
  5. Humphrey Nwosu (1989-1993)
  6. Prof. Okon Uya (1993-1994)

7 Sumner Dagogo-Jack (1994-1998)

  1. Ephraim Akpata (1998-1999)
  2. Abel Guobadia (2000-2005)
  3. Maurice Iwu (2005-2010)
  4. Attahiru Jega (2010 - 2015)
  5. Mahmood Yakubu (2015 – 2020 -??)

God bless Prof Yakubu for giving us hope.

•Alhaji Shuaibu Ahmed Gara Gombe, an administrator, businessman and commentator on contemporary issues, writes from FCT, Abuja.

Source: News Express

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