attahiru jega uhuruspiritcom 640x360 1

Politicians regard 2023 elections as do-or-die affair – Ex-INEC Chair, Jega

A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has called on the people of Nigeria to be conscious ahead of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

The professor said political actors would do everything possible to win the elections.

He added that political actors since 1999 have always seen election as a do-or-die affair.

He said the forthcoming 2023 elections would not be an exception.

He made this revelation in Abuja while speaking on peaceful co-existence and the significance of free and fair elections.

“To my mind, the most worrisome challenges going into the 2023 general elections are the attitude and disposition of the so-called political class (politicians and political party bureaucracy or aristocracy); and the attitude and disposition of the electorate, the eligible voting citizens, as they engage with the electoral process.

“The so-called political class, as active partisans and as candidates/contestants in elections, are the category of stakeholders with perhaps the least noticeable improvements in the ways in which they engage with the electoral process since 1999.

“Their mindset is to achieve victory at all cost; to win elections deploying ‘all means necessary’; seeing electoral contests as a “do-or-die” affair. As they have done since 1999, they have continued to do, and are likely to do in 2023.

“As their impunity has remained unchecked, so have their criminal and fraudulent predispositions increased. This may constitute the major challenge to the 2023 general elections,” he said.

“Increasingly, even if they register to vote, they hardly make the effort to vote, as declining voter turnout statistics of general as well as off-season elections indicate. This may be because of what is called a crisis of rising expectations; and/or inadequacy, or lack of sensitization, political and voter education.

“As the intrinsic value of electoral democracy is hinged on citizens’ participation in election to, in an enlightened manner, elect their trusted representatives in the legislative and governance institutions, the evidence of declining participation of eligible citizens, or of their unenlightened participation is undesirable and needs to be addressed.

“Therefore, sensitization, public enlightenment and voter education are absolutely necessary, not just close to elections, but throughout the 4-year electoral cycle. This is even more significant in a country such as Nigeria, with significant numbers of illiterate populations. For, in our own kind of situation, it is not enough for people to register to vote, and go to polling units on election day to vote: they must know how to vote and not waste their votes,” Jega said.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *