Prof. Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has urged Nigeria to go into the next election with a new law, as he also beckoned on the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to pass the Electoral Bill so as to enable INEC to kick the ball rolling towards the 2023 elections.
Jega made this known yesterday during a panel discussion at a town hall meeting organised by Yiaga Africa on the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill.
In his statement, Jega said it is difficult to conduct elections in Nigeria, he added that there has not been a significant improvement in the electoral framework since 2010.
“I believe Nigeria should go into the next elections with a new law as there are many good things in the bill that will improve the integrity and conduct of elections.”
“As I have said earlier, since 2010, we have not had significant improvement in the electoral framework.
“Speaking on direct and indirect primaries, some people believe that governors do influence the outcome of indirect primaries and some feel direct primaries is a way out of this, but the question is, how many parties have credible register of members?”
The former INEC boss while making the call for a new law, observed that direct and indirect elections can be manipulated.
“Give INEC the law to begin preparations for the 2023 elections. Any governor that manipulates direct primaries under this present condition will also have the capacity to manipulate indirect primaries.”
“What we are saying is that you cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. Let’s think more carefully. The good things in the bill should be signed into law immediately so that INEC can start serious work for the 2023 elections.”
He did not forget to mention that the commission (INEC) has only a short period to put a lot of its mechanisms together for the conduct of the elections.
He alled urged the National Assembly to settle every issue required and give the law to INEC within the period of 10 days after resumption to enable it speed up the preparations for the 2023 elections.
“Give INEC the law to begin preparation for 2023. Drop issue of direct and indirect primaries and let’s move forward,” he said.
Earlier, Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, in his welcome address explained that the meeting would be targeted to discuss key provisions of the Electoral Bill and their consequences for election management, election security, electoral integrity and voter participation as well as legislative and executive action required to conclude the amendment process.
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