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2019: Jega faults amended timetable, says it undermines INEC’s independence



Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has faulted the amendment of the election timetable by the National Assembly.

Jega said the action undermined the independence of the electoral body and its powers as provided in the constitution.

He said this on Thursday while speaking at an event organised by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Development, in Abuja.

In the amended election timetable recently adopted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the National Assembly election will come first, followed by governorship and state house of assembly elections before the presidential election.

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Jega warned against actions that undermine Nigeria’s democracy, noting that there could be reversal to democratic gains if appropriate steps were not taken.

He added that if carried out, the re-ordered timetable would result in more cost of conducting elections.

“We should not do anything to undermine the democratic process, thus we need to keep on adding value to the process,” he said.

The former INEC chair said for the nation’s democratic process to remain intact, there is the need to mobilise Nigerians in towns and villages to be part of the electoral process.

He called on civil society organisations to reinforce their commitment to mobilise voters to come out to vote during elections.

Jega added, “Whatever we do, we should remember where we are coming from which is as a result of sweat and blood of our compatriots.

“Our challenges are difficult but not impossible to address. It’s imperative that we find ways to contain the excesses of our politicians come 2019 elections, otherwise their excesses will keep undermining the electoral processes.”


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