The 2011 and 2015 general elections conducted by the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, passed the test of credibility and reflected the popular will of Nigerians, a civil rights organization, Transition Monitoring Group, said on Wednesday.
The TMG Chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, made the group’s position known in a statement issued in Abuja to congratulate Jega on his “successful completion of an eventful and productive tenure”, and Mrs. Amina Zakari, who was appointed as acting chairperson of the commission by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While describing the ex-INEC chairman as a patriotic Nigerian, TMG said Jega “ran a transparent and inclusive administration”.
According to Zikirullahi, Jega remained a patriotic citizen that made Nigeria proud by overseeing the electoral process since 2011 to 2015, with a sense of utmost dedication and forthrightness.
He said, “Operating in a hostile political environment, Jega went about his duties with an assuring demeanor and calm efficiency. The two general elections conducted under his watch passed the test of credibility and reflected the popular will of Nigerians. By sheer grit and commitment, Jega helped Nigeria to move away a horrible past defined by chaotic and fraudulent polls.
“At TMG, we can testify that Jega ran a transparent and inclusive administration at INEC, just as he did all within his powers to ensure constant improvements in Nigeria’s electoral system. We salute this courageous Nigerian, whose diligence and commitment to democracy, has earned Nigeria global respect and admiration, especially after the largely successful and historic 2015 general elections.
“We are not in doubt that Jega has acquitted himself excellently, and has bequeathed to the nation an electoral system that is in better shape than what he met on the ground. TMG warmly felicitates with the former INEC helmsman, as he steps down and moves on to other things. We wish him God’s guidance, blessings and protection”.
Jega’s tenure as Chairman of INEC officially came to an end on Tuesday amid commendations from Nigerians and the international community for bequeathing a worthy legacy of credible, free and fair elections in 2011 and 2015.