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Jega recommends INEC unbundling, ban of cross-carpeting by politicians



Former INEC boss Jega lectures Nigerians on the kind of leaders to choose

The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday recommended the total unbundling of the commission to improve its effectiveness for future elections.

Jega, who made the call at a town hall meeting organised by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters, also called for a review of the procedures on the appointment of future INEC chairmen and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).

He stressed that a total unbundling of INEC would give it some form of autonomy.

Jega equally called for a law prohibiting inter-party defections by politicians.

The former INEC chairman on Monday urged President Bola Tinubu to review the recent appointment of 10 RECs over partisan concerns.

He said: “I will recommend the unbundling of INEC because the Commission has a lot on its plate to deal with, a situation which has made it struggle to meet its core mandate.

“Some functions that INEC is currently performing should be given to another body entirely to handle if we want to make progress on our electoral journey.

READ ALSO: Jega urges Tinubu to review appointment of INEC RECs

“If Nigerians truly want to improve our electoral process, there is a need to proscribe cross-carpeting by political actors. The frequency with which Nigerian politicians cross-carpet has become a big source of worry.

“A candidate will be elected on party A platform and he gets to the office and joins party B without first resigning and relinquishing the position he or she holds in trust for the electorate. This has destroyed the essence of our democratic ethos.

“It is my humble recommendation that there should be a review of how political parties field presidential candidates. Look at the number of registered political parties in Nigeria and each fielding presidential candidates but at the end of the day, only two or three score significant votes while the majority do not receive any vote.

“If we are serious about our electoral reforms, there must be a threshold for political parties to meet before fielding candidates in presidential elections.

“The rule must be set that parties that failed to secure a certain amount of votes would not be allowed to present presidential candidates. There must be sanity in the polity and we must get it right.

“It is not only a huge waste of human and material resources it’s absurd to have parties that cannot win a seat in the local council to field presidential candidates in a general election. The Electoral Act and INEC guidelines should be reviewed.”

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