- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 08:42
- Written by Admin
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The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has admitted that there were many flaws in the just concluded general election in Nigeria.
He, however, added that the election was freer, fairer and more peaceful than previous ones.Professor Jega, while giving his keynote address at a forum organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC on Tuesday said: “We knew that it would be difficult to do a perfect job; and there are certainly many imperfections with the 2011 election.”
The INEC chairman further said that conducting elections that are free, fair, peaceful and credible in a country such as Nigeria, given its size, large population, terrain and ethno-religious diversity, is a very difficult assignment.
Jega, a former vice-chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, also noted that a perfect election looked like an impossible task under the circumstances in which the INEC had to conduct the 2011 voter registration and the election itself.
He pressed further that the electoral commission was gratified by the general acknowledgment and appreciation of the progress made so far, adding that it was indeed difficult but doable under the circumstances.
Jega said that the challenges that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) faced before and during the elections were many and wide-ranging, especially associated with addressing causes and consequences of post-election violence, continuous refinement and improvement of the electoral process and training and skills provisioning.
His words: “Some say that ‘the jury is still out there’, but, according to many observers, it is still noteworthy that the elections were freer, more credible and peaceful than ever in Nigeria’s electoral history”
Jega also attributed the success recorded by INEC during the elections to the use of people with integrity as collation and returning officers, mostly those chosen from tertiary institutions like senior lecturers, professors and vice-chancellors.
He also noted that facilitation of transparent, timely collation and announcement of results, with audiovisual recording and live media coverage was also part of the reason why the electoral body recorded success during the elections. (Leadership)