The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has described Nigerian politicians as “too difficult to handle,” as they cut corners, offering bribes and threats to officials of the commission because they see elections as investments and would do anything to protect their investments.
Jega made this comment at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), yesterday, at a lecture organized by the Political Science Department of the school.
“Good elections are not the business of the election managers alone. Politicians want to win by hook or by crook; they induce and entice INEC officials and if they fail, they threaten them because it is an investment that they want to win at all costs.
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“INEC is not a magician, we can make mistakes. The problems with elections are enormous and most politicians don’t play by the rules, but the fact remains that we are democratising and it would take time to clear the Aegean stable and every stakeholder has to throw in his/her best,” Jega said.
Speaking further, the INEC chairman, however, noted that the commission had improved on the mistakes of the past to ensure a free, fair and credible election this year. That was partly why INEC removed four million people from the voters register because of multiple registration. The authentic voters register is now error proof and would be difficult for anyone, individual or group to manipulate, he added.
“Foreign names like those of Queen Elizabeth, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali among others which used to find their ways into the nation’s voters registers had now been blocked, as the Permanent Voters’ Card, PVC, had security features that would ensure the arrest of whoever cloned the card through its card reader on presentation,” Jega said.
Meanwhile, the INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Benue State, Prof. Istifanus Dafwang, yesterday, said that 7,000 PVC readers had been been received by his office in preparation for the general elections.