Nigeria’s Electoral System Has Failed: Attahiru Jega
Immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega has said the electoral process across Africa has failed to entrench good governance in Africa.
Jega stated this on Thursday at the University of Ibadan, UI, while delivering 2019 Convocation Lecture titled, “Towards Credible Electoral Process and Sustainable Political Systems in Nigeria: What role for Universities”.
He said, “All over Africa, and indeed, to some extent, throughout the developing world, the electoral process is failing to entrench good governance and stable and sustainable democratic political systems as a result of what can be termed as a deficit of electoral integrity”.
He said vote-buying, violence, incumbency powers, and a range of electoral malpractices and fraudulent activities in the electoral process grossly undermine its utility as a vehicle for liberal democratic development.
“In virtually all cases, ritualized elections, which lack integrity merely serve to legalize, if not ‘legitimize’, access and control of power into executive or legislative arms of government by people unconcerned with, or indifferent to, the requirements of sustainable democratic development. Hence, such elections do not catalyze, nor guarantee responsive and responsible representation and/or governance”, he said.
Jega said, “a situational and contextual analysis of the electoral process in Nigeria reveals an incredible level of electoral malpractices and thus acute deficiency in electoral integrity, which are no doubt among the major sources/causes of political instability, weakness and inadequacy of the governance process and eroded legitimacy of elected government I the country”.
He said the process can only work, when “most significantly, there is need for all stakeholders to strengthen their constructive engagement with the electoral process, with a view to improving, protecting and defending its integrity.”