Prof. Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated that the next election should be held under a new legislation.
Jega said it is difficult to conduct elections in Nigeria since the electoral framework has not improved much since 2010. He was speaking at a Citizens’ Townhall meeting on the Electoral Bill, 2021, organized by YIAGA Africa in Abuja on Sunday January 16.
Jega also stated that, while there may be some gray areas in the Electoral Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign, the bill should not be abandoned because it contains many positive elements.
“I believe Nigeria should go into the next elections with a new law as there are many good things in the bill that will improve the integrity and conduct of elections.
“As I have said earlier, since 2010, we have not had significant improvement in the electoral framework.
“Speaking on direct and indirect primaries, some people believe that governors do influence the outcome of indirect primaries and some feel direct primaries is a way out of this, but the question is, how many parties have a credible register of members?
“Give INEC the law to begin preparations for the 2023 elections. Any governor that manipulates direct primaries under this present condition will also have the capacity to manipulate indirect primaries.
“What we are saying is that you cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. Let’s think more carefully. The good things in the bill should be signed into law immediately so that INEC can start serious work for the 2023 elections.”