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2023 Elections Credible In ‘Many Substantial Aspects’ – Jega

The professor of political science argued that in a lot of the areas where there were “very serious challenges,” politicians played a direct role.


COMBO: Former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega speaks on the Monday, November 27, 2023 edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today and voters cast their votes in the February 25, 2023 elections.

 

A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, believes the 2023 general elections were “credible in many substantial aspects,” though he says blame should be apportioned “appropriately”.

Mixed reactions have trailed the elections, their outcomes, ensuing legal battles, and some of the decisions by election petitions tribunals and, subsequently, the Court of Appeal.

However, in a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Jega said his favourable assessment of the polls was not necessarily in defence of his successor and incumbent INEC chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood.

“I would say that, in many substantial aspects, it was credible,” he said.

“In areas where we have seen serious challenges that are avoidable and should have been avoided, I believe that to a large extent — and you asked me to be very frank with you — we have a tendency to heap blame on the leadership of an electoral management body and I have had my own fair share of those kinds of blames.” 

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Declaring that “we should apportion blame appropriately,” the professor of political science argued that in a lot of the areas where there were “very serious challenges,” politicians played a direct role.

According to him, such influence “more or less circumscribed the powers” of INEC and its chairman.

“So, to my mind, really, it’s unfortunate it has happened on the watch of Yakubu Mahmood but it has happened not because — to my mind, I have no evidence that he is complicit in these things,” Jega added.