News / Africa

Nigeria Election Chief Promises ‘Much Improved’ 2015 Vote

Nigeria's electoral chief and academic Attahiru Jega attends a meeting with staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission  in Abuja, March 17, 2011. (AP Image)
Nigeria's electoral chief and academic Attahiru Jega attends a meeting with staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, March 17, 2011. (AP Image)
Peter Clottey
The chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed confidence that measures implemented by the electoral body will ensure next year’s general election is transparent, free, fair and credible.

Attahiru Jega also says INEC has received assurances from both the government and legislators that the commission will get the funds it needs to organize next year’s presidential, legislative and local elections. 

Both local and international election monitoring groups said Nigeria’s 2007 elections failed to meet international standards. The election monitors however said the 2011 vote was credible and better organized.

                    Working to improve performance

In an interview with VOA, Jega outlined measures the electoral body has implemented to improve next year’s vote following an internal review of the group’s performance in the 2011 general election.

Jega says INEC also invited academic and civil society groups to independently assess its performance in the 2011 vote, and offer recommendations in areas that needed improvement.                                              

“After we did all that we produced a strategic plan covering the period 2012 to 2016 so that for the elections and beyond, we have a clearly charted program of what needed to be done to improve election management in Nigeria, both towards 2015 and beyond,” said Jega. “Our vision is to be one of the best election management bodies in Africa by 2015.”

He says INEC has been restructured to be efficient and effective.

“We have done what I call putting square pegs in square holes in terms of human resources in terms of removing duplication of responsibilities and so on,” said Jega. “We have produced a permanent voters card and we are going to distribute them and come 2015 we are going to use card readers to be able to authenticate whether the person who brings a card to the polling unit is the actual owner of that card.”

Jega called on other stakeholders including civil society groups and political parties to be partners in ensuring the credibility of the vote.

“It is much about what politicians do -- it is much about what civil society organizations do. So our hope is that while we concentrate on doing our best, we are hopeful and we keep on engaging stake holders so that all hands will be on deck in order to ensure that 2015 is indeed truly much better than 2011,” said Jega. 

                    Funding issues

Observers say adequate funding is critical to resolving the logistical challenges INEC faces.  Jega says he has been assured by the country’s leaders that his organization will receive the budgetary allocation needed to administer the vote.

“We prepared our budget which we have submitted and we have concerns as to whether what we actually need will be provided -- both members of the national assembly and the government raised these concerns. I must say we have received assurances that everything would be done to ensure that lack of resources do not undermine the 2015 elections. And I think those reassurances are good enough for us,” said Jega.

                    Security challenges

Nigeria is facing severe security challenges in some parts of the country where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has carried out attacks.

Some Nigerians worry that the election could be affected by violence. They contend that the militants could target voting centers and scare prospective voters from participating in the election.

But, Jega says the electoral commission is working closely with the country’s security agencies to address any security concerns in the run up to the vote.

“We partner with security agencies to anticipate security challenges and to have a coordinated response approach to addressing those security challenges,” said Jega. “Since 2010 we established an Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Elections Security, and it has offered us a platform through which we engage with all security agencies to discuss security challenges associated with elections.”

                    Code of conduct

Observers have expressed concern about politicians using intemperate language during campaigns ahead of elections, which they say heightens ethnic and religious tension and creates conflicts and violence. 

Jega says INEC will enforce a code of conduct that the political parties would have to abide by in the run up to the election.

“I’m glad to say that all the registered political parties as of March last year had signed to a code of conduct that promotes civility and peaceful conduct,” said Jega. “We are hopeful that political parties and candidates will abide by that code of conduct and we are urging all citizens and all civil society organizations to hold parties and candidates to account with regards to the commitment that they have made.”
Clottey interview with Prof. Attahiru Jega, Nigeria's Electoral Chief
Clottey interview with Prof. Attahiru Jega, Nigeria's Electoral Chiefi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid