Buhari swears in three INEC commissioners as FEC okays N38.4b for roads
• Twitter ban to end in few days, Lai Mohammed insists
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday, was preceded by the swearing-in of three National Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
That sworn-in are Dr Baba Bila (representing North-East zone), Prof. Sani Adam (North-Central), and Prof. Abdullahi Abdu (North West).
At a brief ceremony held, later, at the Commission’s headquarters to welcome the new commissioners, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, urged them to be firm and fair in their dealings with political parties and candidates.
At the event, Sa’idu Ahmad, a professor of English Literature from Bayero University Kano, was also sworn-in as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). Ahmad, who is from Jigawa, was deployed to Zamfara.
The INEC boss, who urged the new appointees to adhere strictly to provisions of the law, said: “Our success in this arduous task draws from our integrity as election managers.”
He said: “We must be strict in the application of the law, firm in handling the public trust bestowed on us, and fair in our dealings with political parties and candidates. We must remember that in discharging our responsibilities, Nigeria and Nigerians must always come first. We must abide by our oaths of office to defend the choice made by Nigerians at the polls in all elections and continue to protect the sanctity of the vote without which democratic election is meaningless.”
He also urged them to quickly settle in and familiarise themselves with the rules, procedures, and responsibilities of their office.
FEC, meanwhile, approved N38.4 billion for the completion of some road projects it inherited in five states across the country. The projects are located in Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Imo, and Nasarawa States.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, gave the indication while briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting.
He said: “They are not new projects; they are projects that we inherited and we are trying to complete. Essentially, they relate to cost revision because of the ages of the contracts and the prices of goods that have changed.”
This came as the Federal Government, again, declared that its standoff with embattled microblogging platform, Twitter, would soon be resolved.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this, yesterday, however, refrained from being definite on when the matter would be laid to rest.
Speaking after the FEC meeting, he said: “We have gone very far. I won’t be specific but we have gone very far. And honestly, it’s just going to be very, very soon. Just take my word for that. Honestly, I can’t be more specific than what I’ve told you that it is going to be very soon.
“I can tell that we’re actually talking about a few, just a few more days now. What we’re trying to do is the changes that have been going on. We need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. But I can assure us that we’re not unmindful of the anxiety of Nigerians and both parties are working very hard to put a closure on the matter.”
Twitter had said it reached out to the government. It also assured Nigerians that it had not stopped engaging authorities on ways to resolve the restriction slammed on its operation in the country. The ban clocked 100 days on Tuesday, with the economy reportedly losing about N246 billion.