OYO, Nigeria – Prof. Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described Nigeria electoral process as “flawed”.
Jega said this in Ibadan on Thursday while delivering a lecture to mark the 71st Foundation Day and Convocation of the University of Ibadan.
He said: “It is generally recognised that fortifying democracy is vital to sustainable development, but what is not as widely acknowledged is that improving the integrity of elections is key to democratic development.
“Sustainable electoral process with requite integrity is the panacea for democratic development in Nigeria and in all African countries struggling with the challenges of democratisation.
“The Nigerian electoral process has historically been flawed and repleted with profound challenges in all three key phases of electoral administration pre-election, election and post-election phases.
“All stakeholders, therefore, must play a positive role in bridging these gaps,” he said.
Jega called for improvements for electoral integrity and sustainable democratic development through determined efforts, creative and innovative deployment of national resources and endowment.
He said improvements were needed in the areas of legal and regulatory framework for elections, utilisation of technology, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and competitiveness.
“It is quite possible to bring about a thriving democracy in Nigeria in spite of evident challenges.
“It would only require a more serious and purposeful engagement with and in the electoral process by all the key stakeholders.
“To ensure that it brings the desired quality representation and elected public office holders who are responsible and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the citizens”, Jega added.