Credible elections foundation to development – Jega

The Chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega
has said that promoting the culture of
free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria
is fundamental for good governance.
Speaking at the ECOWAS Network of Electoral
Commission’s (ECONEC) annual general
meeting in Abuja, the INEC Chairman noted that
the nation’s electoral system has transformed in
the past two years but more needs to be done to
address the numerous challenges facing the
He urged the general assembly to encourage
exchange of technical expertise and evolve
standard electoral practises that could serve as
benchmarks for assessing elections across the
African region.
“For our countries to progress and develop; for
us to have good governance, we need to
entrench the culture of free, fair and credible
elections because they are the foundation of
good governance and the choice of leaders who
can preside over the responsibilities of
developing our countries,” Mr Jega said.
The INEC boss said that all over the West Africa
sub-region “there is now a clear recognition that
we have to entrench the culture of free, fair and
credible elections. We have to ensure that
elections are conducted on an impartial and
non-partisan basis so that the true choice of the
people will emerge in the electoral process.”
ECONEC was established in February 2008 in
Conakry not only to facilitate ECOWAS
assistance to Member States but also to serve
as a regional platform for exchange of best
practices and enhance the capacities of the
electoral commissions of Member States.
Participants in this year’s ECONEC summit,
according to a statement by the organisers, are
expected to update and improve the internal
regulations of the network; set up a bureau to
coordinate its functions; highlight best practices
in the management of elections; adopt a two
year work plan for the network and discuss
specific challenges in election management and
ways of resolving them
They will also establish a mechanism for
improving cooperation between ECOWAS and
the National Electoral Commissions, review the
activities of the network since its establishment
and examine the role of E Registration in
election management in the region.
Group commend INEC on Ondo polls
Meanwhile, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
and the Centre for Human Right and Ethics in
Development (CHRED) has described the last
Saturday’s governorship election, that produced
incumbent Ondo governor and Labour Party’s
candidate, Olusegun Mimiko the winner, as
credible, free and fair.
The two accredited observers noted that the
result of the election as announced by the
Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) reflect the wish of the electorate in the
The TMG in its interim report signed by Ibrahim
Zikirullahi and Eddy Ezeruike stated that voter
turnout was very impressive at different polling
units across the state while the security was
adequate, heavy and in most places provided
the confidence that most voters required to
come out and vote.
Similarly, the CHRED in his report signed by
Moshood Erubami stated that the result
announced by INEC reflected the voting
character in most polling stations as reported by
the observers who also reported the presence of
political Agents representing the three main
political parties contesting the election.
Mr Erubami said “The conclusion of our report
today 21st of October 2012, is that though the
pre-election periods created fear that the
election might be marred by violence and
irregularities, the determination of the
stakeholders to participate in an election that is
free, fair, transparent, credible and legitimate
played out in the results from majority of polling
centres as reflected in the vivid adherence of
political parties to their pledge to support
peaceful election, improved operations of the
INEC, the impartiality of the security Agencies
and vigilance of the citizens and domestic
election observers.
”The results of unofficial irregularities in smaller
units and their outcome might not be enough to
upturn the INEC results except in situation of
provable evidence of where the process was
failed by non –compliance with the guidelines
and electoral act which in most of the polling
stations manned by our observers were not the

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