The immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega has revealed that if he had wanted, he could have secured a second term in office following the success of the 2015 general elections.
Admitting that there was the temptation for him to stay on as Chairman of the commission, he stressed that he chose to resist it in order to help the commission become a strong institution that it should be.
I Could Have Gotten Second Term At INEC If I Wanted? Yes The Professor of Political Science, who left INEC on June 30 at the expiration of his tenure, made this revelation while speaking at the London School of Economics, LSE, on Tuesday.
He went on to highlight the challenges of the elections and how they were faced, saying the elections caught politicians unawares as the commission was a step ahead of them.
According to him, “I think the major challenge is the do-or-die mindset of our politicians; they think they have to win by hook or crook. They have to use money; if money doesn’t work, they have to use harassment and intimidation; if that doesn’t work, they can even kill.
“The commission was a step ahead of them in preparing for 2015 general election, but they can go back and regroup and come for how to undermine the card readers.
“I have less fears about once Jega leaves, everything would go back to the way it was. That’s why I resisted the temptation of accepting a second tenure, even though I could have got that if I had wanted.
“I felt we had an opportunity, we did our best, trying to build an institution; let’s get that institution to work rather than just seeing it as if its only one man that can only do this job. In a country like Nigeria, there are up to one million Jegas or even better; it is just getting the opportunity,” he stated.