The immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said at the weekend that he was satisfied with the apology offered by a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe over his unruly behaviour during the collation of results at the last presidential election.
Speaking in Ilorin, Kwara State, where he attended the 80th birthday ceremony of a former National Commissioner of INEC, Dr. Abdulkadir Oniyangi, the Bayero University Kano lecturer said he had since forgotten about the matter.
It would be recalled that Orubebe, who was the PDP agent during the last election, accused Jega of bias and almost brought the collation process to a premature end but for the display of maturity by the former INEC boss, which brought the unexpected situation under control, and the announcement of results went ahead.
Jega advised Nigerians to put Orubebe’s performance behind and move on in building on the gains of the last election, which he said met the requirements of international best practices.
He said: “I think the Orubebe’s incident is behind us, and we should just move on and not be held back by it. I was made to understand that a day or two after the incident, Mr. Orubebe made a public apology through the news media and I think that is sufficient enough”.
“I think the challenges for us include ensuring that statesmen act as they should. And under all circumstances, we must control our emotions and resist the temptation of making wild allegations, which can disrupt a process as important as the election. But I think we all learnt something from the elections”, he added.
The former INEC boss, who has now returned to the lecture room at BUK, said he was delighted to be back.
He also expressed optimism that INEC will continue to work on the voters’ register.