President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated the new INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and five national commissioners of the commission.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari enjoined the new INEC chairman and the national commissioners to resist undue external influence.
The President, who enjoined them to respect the Rule of Law, pledged to respect the independence of the commission.
He said, “You must respect the law and we will hold you bound by the oath, which you have just taken. The nation has reposed a lot of trust and confidence in you. You cannot afford to fail.’’
Buhari also stressed the need for urgent reform of the State Electoral Commissions to ensure free and fair elections and for the protection of democratic values.
According to him, the Federal Government is considering a different strategy of engaging state governments on how to make state electoral commissions much freer than many are today.
He said that he was aware of the Federal Government’s constitutional constraints in relation to its engagement with the state electoral bodies.
He, however, said that it was the responsibility of the government to protect the democratic rights of all citizens, adding that hiding behind the technicality of law to deny the citizens rights, was totally unacceptable.
Photo Credit: NAN-PHOTO