Jega Attributes Success Of 2015 Elections To Teamwork
THE outgoing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has described the relative success of the 2015 election as the result of teamwork between him, the National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners and other stakeholders.
Jega, however, admitted that he met a few bad eggs when he assumed office as chairman of the Commission but said he was able to surmount the challenges they posed.
Jega, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a dinner held in his honour by the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), said Nigerians must unite in order to consolidate on the achievements recorded through the 2015 polls.
He said: “Anytime people come to congratulate me on the successes that we have recorded, I feel happy. I thank God but I always remind them that I didn’t do this alone. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with very hardworking, very committed and equally patriotic National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners to be able to do this job.
“We came into INEC and found staff who were demoralised, not well motivated, but over and above that, few bad eggs had given a very terrible negative image to the entire members of the Commission. But substantial majority in INEC are really honest.”
He added: “The journey for electoral reforms have just commenced and it is very important that we continue to contribute ideas and participate as actively as possible in order to keep on improving the electoral reform process and to keep on contributing to the task of deepening democracy in our country.
“I feel optimistic and the future is very bright. But we can’t rest on our oars and we shouldn’t allow what I call regression. We have lifted the bar; we must ensure that the bar is continuously lifted and that it doesn’t go down again.”
Jega also paid glowing tributes to the 35 Vice Chancellors who served as Returning Officers during the election.
“The Nigerian university community from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the Committee of Vice Chancellors and individual staff, you partnered with us; you joined hands with us and what we are celebrating is as much of your success as it is INEC’s success.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and Chairman AVCNU, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, commended Jega over the way the presidential and National Assembly elections were credibly conducted.
“He was able to let the world know that Vice Chancellors can serve the country creditably,” he said.