Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, has said that appointments of the commission should be transparent and independent of the presidency.
According to Jega, it is important to sanitize the process of appointments especially after the issues that arise following the 2023 presidential elections.
“Resident electoral commissioners should ideally be appointed by the commission. A situation where the person who appointed the chairman and national commissioners is also the same person who nominated or appointed the RECs brings indiscipline into the system and lack of a clear line of authority.” He said on Tuesday night, October 24 to Arise TV
“When we look at the 2023 general election, we know that some people in the corridors of power, succeeded in getting the resident commissioners appointed and regrettably, these RECs were not properly vetted and screened by the senate and they ended up going to states where they disregarded lawful instructions from INEC and where we have seen irregularities largely because, logically, they may be doing the biddings of those who are responsible for their appointments.
“I believe that moving forward as we continue to reform the electoral process, it is very important first of all, to have an independent transparent process, independent of the presidency for the appointment of chairman and commissioners. The point I made is that two of those resident commissioners who are very reckless and who disregarded lawful orders, if you do your investigation, you will find out that it is somebody who is very close to the president, who made the nomination, because they are either his classmates or his friends. That’s why we see all these problems. It is important to sanitize the process of appointing the chairman and commissioners and then to allow the commission to appoint the RECs.”
“Before I left INEC, we did a success and failure rate of the card reader and I am telling you that the card reader probably failed in 5% of the total deployment in polling units, which is 95% success but the pressmen and the aggrieved politicians were just focusing on where it failed and it can never be perfect. The 95% is an A in any kind of situation. The BVAS that was developed to replace the card reader is also a significant value addition to the election process.
“The major failure relates to the uploading of information, as promised by the chairman of the iRev. I believe that we need to interrogate why that uploading specifically with presidential elections failed. This needs to be done not just by INEC but in a very transparent manner. I think there will be a lot of revelations as to what happened.”
“INEC needs to improve in strategic communication. Why was there slowness in providing information? I believe very strongly that maybe they were trying to find out what exactly happened and that the delay regrettably had its own consequences.
I believe that a thorough investigation will reveal what happened and hopefully will show Nigerians that it is not something deliberate that the INEC Chairman did because he was compromised. I have been there, I know that, no matter how well you plan, there are people who are throwing in spanners in the work because they are trying to carry the agenda of some politician.” he added