President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in six new Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The ceremony took place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly before the meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
President Buhari charged INEC to build on the successes it recorded in the recent elections it conducted in Kogi, Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo, as it prepares for the National Assembly rerun elections in Rivers State, this weekend.
The President, who said the current administration is concerned about the electoral process and would do everything to make things work, challenged the new INEC Commissioners to exhibit hard work and integrity in carrying out their responsibilities.
“This administration is deeply concerned about the integrity of our electoral processes. You are people of great integrity. This administration will depend on you to be firm and fair. What this administration expects is that after you had gone, that Nigerians and indeed, our political history will respect and remember you,” he said.
President Buhari encouraged citizens of the country to protect their Permanent Voter Cards PVCs, and make good use of them during elections.
He said: “We want all Nigerians to use their PVCs, processed by a card reader, giving the opportunity and security in their respective constituencies to elect those they want to represent them at various levels.”
Those sworn-in include Dr. Ogunmola Ladipo (South West); Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu (South South); Abubakar Nahuche (North West); Professor Okechukwu Ibeano (South East); Mr. Mohammed Haruna (North Central) and retired Air Vice Marshal Ahmad Muazu; (North East).
Responding on behalf of those sworn-in, Professor Okechukwu Ibeano, who thanked President Buhari for nominating them, pledged their commitment to duty and the progress of the entire nation.
He solicited for the prayer and support of Nigerians, to enable them fulfill their mandate.
Speaking to newsmen after the swearing-in, INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmud said their coming would help the commission consolidate on the gains of the 2015 general election.
“They are people who have a lot of experience in their various fields and that will help us a lot.”
Commenting on the forth-coming National Assembly rerun election in Rivers State, Professor Yakubu said INEC will ensure credible elections.
He debunked the rumour that fake sensitive election materials were being printed in Rivers for the election.
“We will not be distracted by the various allegations being made by party stakeholders in that state. We are ready and we will do what we are used to. We will do our work very well and ensure that every vote counts,” he said.
The INEC boss said contrary to insinuations, INEC was not recruiting members of any political party as ad-hoc staff for the election.
He also said he was satisfied with the assurances the security agencies had given on their level of preparedness for the election.