Uwais Report Key To Credible Elections – Jega | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Uwais Report Key To Credible Elections – Jega

Posted: Jun 28, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh,  Abuja

For Nigeria to achieve credible outcome in future elections, the National Assembly must summon the political will to implement the Justice Mohammed Uwais Report on electoral reforms.



This is as the out-going Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, said; future elections in Nigeria can surpass that of 2015, if the National Assembly members put away sentiments and become more decisive in implementing the full recommendations of the Justice Uwais electoral report.

He described the just concluded general elections, which he supervised as a laudable benchmark which should set the pace for future elections in the country.

The Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Panel was set up by the late President Umar Yar’Adua, following the outcry that greeting the election that brought him to power in 2007.

Among others, the Uwais committee recommended the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission and two other bodies; the Constituency Delimitation Commission and the Political Parties’ Registration and Regulatory Commission. It also recommended the transfer of some of the functions of the present Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

With these recommendations, INEC’s functions may have been limited to only the conduct of the elections in Nigeria.

With the Uwais recommendations not in place, according to the INEC Chairman, the success recorded by the Commission in the recent election wouldn’t have been possible without the robust partnership INEC formed with other stakeholders.

Jega made these observations in Abuja, at a dinner party jointly organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in his honour.

“I feel highly elated because the 2015 election has been widely acclaimed as the best election in the history of Nigeria, however the bar has been lifted high and I believe we don’t need to go below the bar In future elections.

“Doing good elections requires the commitment and contribution of all of us, constant vigilance and communication is important in sustaining the current gains we have made so far.

“The task of electoral reform has just began, the Uwais electoral report has very good reform measures but I will plead with the National Assembly to be more decisive to see to the full implementation of the report.

“The existing legal framework is fairly good but we have a lot of reforms if we must improve on the electoral process,” Jega noted.

President of Nigeria Labour Congress,Ayuba Wabba, who poured encomiums on Jega, said it was not surprising to Nigerians that he stood firm against intimidation during the collation of results at the national collation centre, Abuja

Wabba said the reforms the INEC chair brought to bear on the organisation clearly accounted for the breakthrough our nation witnessed in the 2015 general elections.

His words, “It clearly showed that in spite of obvious legislative impediments in our electoral laws which had been the excuse for our electoral failures in the past, with a committed, patriotic and honest disposition, Jega was able to through administrative wizardry accomplish the historic success of 2015 general elections.

“Jega was able to outwit our chronic election riggers out of relevance in the innovations of the permanent voter card and card readers”.