Why Credible Election Is Critical To Nigeria’s Future – Jega

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A former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has said the best way to safeguard Nigeria’s future is to have credible elections that are not hijacked by certain interests.
Delivering the convocation lecture at the Bauchi State University, Gadau, with the theme, ‘Safeguarding Nigeria’s Future: Prioritising Citizen’s Welfare and Security Amidst Challenges’, Jega pointed out that credible election would ensure that only quality persons were voted into public office.
He stated, “If the reckless people are capturing the political process, the electoral process and government, and people just sit and watch, obviously they will destroy the future for everybody. So, constructive engagement is absolutely necessary; people have to get involved.
“Citizens have an obligation in good or bad times. They have key roles to play in order to ensure their country survives and good things happen to ordinary citizens.
“Ultimately the best way to safeguard Nigeria’s future and secure the welfare of citizens devoid of massive security challenges is to have elections with integrity, through an electoral process that is not captured. Unfortunately, now we are seeing that it is captured by reckless politicians.
“An election that is not captured will bring out quality people, and as they become elected public officials and representatives who have positive value orientation in governance processes, the institutions will harness societal resources and deliver good quality services.
“Only in this way can the state have the requisite legitimacy, stability, competence and capacity as well as resourcefulness to effectively address the needs of the people and safeguard the future of our country.”
Jega explained further that the state exists to, among other things, cater for the security, welfare and basic needs of the citizens. He stressed that no nation could survive without institutions to promote security and the well-being of its people.
He stated, “Any state that fails to do this in the modern context will be considered a failed state. Due to the resources ordinarily available to the state under normal circumstances, it should have the capacity and competence to address human security challenges and actually succeed decisively in doing so.
“In this context, the Nigerian state needs to discharge these public obligations to its citizens because currently it is not discharging it. However, the citizens need to recognise that they have obligations of citizenship to their country and therefore have a significant role to play in shaping the present and safeguarding the future of Nigeria, because the tendency we are seeing now when people are withdrawing and doing sit-down-look doesn’t help.”



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