By: African Herald Express, Abuja
Sources at the Presidency have revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan has resolved to appoint a northerner as the next INEC Chairman to replace Prof Maurice Iwu, whose tenure is set to sunset in a few days.
The sources also confirmed that Mallam Bukhari Bello, a former executive secretary of the National Human Rights commission (NHRC) and a senior staff of INEC under Prof Humphrey Nwosu has emerged as the front contender for the INEC top job.
Bello is a lawyer from Kebbi State. He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University and called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. He was appointed by President Obasanjo to the NHRC.
In 1989, Bukhari Bello began his career with the federal public service as assistant director of legal services with the National Electoral Commission (NEC), which was the name the current INEC was then called during the era of General Babangida.
Bello later rose in the ranks of INEC to become the Director of legal services at the commission.
Bello’s candidacy is said enjoy wide support from a disparate group of political and civil society.
Reliable sources say that he is being sponsored by Nuhu Ribadu and Obasanjo; and that he has been endorsed by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who has emerged a ‘background’ key player in the Jonathan administration.
Others in consideration which may as yet supplant Bello for the job are Prof Attahiru Jega and Prof Nuhu Yakubu.