A vote for Jega | Independent Newspapers Limited
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A vote for Jega

Posted: Apr 14, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Funmi Falobi / Theme Editor, International


As Nigeria conducted a peaceful, fair and credible 2015 general elections, Professor Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) remains one man that must be recognized for his efforts in conducting for the first time in Nigeria, elections that are acceptable by all and sundry.

the-man-jegaAs part of efforts to make the elections free,fair and devoid of malpractices, the electoral body in its innovation introduced the use of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and Smart Card Reader machines which contributed to the credibility of the elections.

Though, there were difficulties in the collection of the PVCs by the electorates and hitches recorded in the presidential election of March 28, the general view has been that the innovation has helped to make the election free and fair. With successful conduct of the elections, Nigeria is said to have set the pace for democracy in Africa.

Even as the INEC helmsman announced the presidential election result and the subsequent drama by the former Minister of Niger Delta, Goddey Orubebe,during the collation of the results in Abuja where he accused Jega of bias.

While many view Orubebe’s action as capable of having negative effect on the peaceful election, Jega maintained his decorum with his wise response to the former minister.

Accolades continue to trail the peaceful conduct of the election. Even international community also commended the INEC chairman and the electoral body for conducting free and fair election and the subsequent peace after the results.

International observers scored the conduct of the presidential election across the country high. Also, the United States president, Barack Obama, while recognising Jega’s contribution to the successful general election awarded the INEC boss with a “Certificate of Commendation” for his performance during the elections. The US president stressed that what the professor of political science had done deserves replication by all.

Similarly, the National Assembly while lauding the INEC chairman on the successful conduct of the election said it has shown the entire world that “democracy has come to stay in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Andy Uba, and his House of Representatives counterpart, Jerry Manwe, conveyed the position of the lawmakers while expressing their happiness and commendation about the success recorded by INEC in the conduct of the polls.

Born on January 11, 1957 in Jega, Kebbi State,Professor Attahiru Jega is a Political Scientist and former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano.

On June 8, 2010, he was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan as the Chairman of INEC. He was President of the Academic Staff

Union of Universities (ASUU), and a dogged activist during the military regime of President Ibrahim Babangida.