A radical academic and Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano, Professor Attahiru Jega has been endorsed for nomination as the Executive Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after a meeting of the National Council of States (NCS).
The Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshimole made the announcement after the meeting of NCS.
Professor Jega, a fearless political scientist and unionist fought military dictatorship when he was President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during the military administration of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. He is holder of national honours of Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).
President Goodluck Jonathan approved Prof Jega from other strong and respected contenders that include Barrister Bukhari Bello and Professor Nuhu Yakub.
Jega was appointed Vice chancellor of Bayero University Kano in 2005 to serve a five-year term which would have been due in October this year.
Governor Oshimole said the council unanimously approved the recommendation of Prof. Attahiru Jega for appointment as the Chairman of INEC because he is a Nigerian that had distinguished himself.
According to him the council believes the president demonstrated courage and statesmanship in appointing someone who is not known to have any partisan political affiliation and a Nigerian that has distinguished himself in his present and past callings.
The council also commended the president for the quality of people nominated as national electoral commissioners as well as 17 other
resident electoral commissioners.
The Economic Confidential gathered that the name of Professor Jega and other nominees for national electoral commissioners in INEC will be tabled before the National Assembly for ratification.
The National Council of States also approves the nomination of national commissioners for the INEC. The nominated Commissioners include past members of the INEC who are re-nominated, top public functionaries and academics.
Gen. Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman from Abaji area of FCT and former Minister of Internal Affairs, Industry and Technology and Federal Commissioner at the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC);
Mrs. Thelma Iremiren who is from Delta State was Permanent Secretary in various Ministries including Federal Ministry of Finance during Obasanjo’s administration;
Dr. Abdulkadir Oniyangi, a medical doctor from Ilorin Kwara State was Secretary to the State Government in 1983-85 before becoming the Chief Medical Director and Consultant of Hassanah Memorial Hospital in Ilorin.
Dr. Ishmael Igbani from Rivers State, who was a minister in the Second Republic and a national commissioner at INEC till the end of his first tenure in 2008 where he served as commissioner in charge of political party monitoring.
Hajia Amina Bala Zakari, a consultant pharmacist and alumni of the Harvard Business School who was secretary in the FCT during El-Rufai period between 2004-2007 and has been the head of consultancy at the Songhai Medical Centre, Abuja;
Prof Lai Olurode from Osun State was a former Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos and an accomplished and prolific writer with several publications to his credit.
Mr. Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, the acting chairman of INEC from Ogun State, was a school principal in various schools for about 20 years before joining the Commission in 2003, where he has served as Resident Electoral Commissioner in various states.
Bar. Phillip Umeadi from Onitsha, Anambra State attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 1991 and worked as a legal officer in Akure Local Government of Ondo State. He was Principal Solicitor & Counsel at Ezebuilo Umeadi & Co before his appointment as INEC National Commissioner in the last dispensation.
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