Professor Jega`s INEC 2011 Elections and Contractors
Sir, It is looking as if we hardly would have a good administrative umpire in our electoral institution. Since we have gone democratic, it has been woes as far as the right head of the electoral commission is concerned. One had thought that Professor Jega would be different but behold it was wishful thinking. It is even looking as if the Professor Iwu's regime was better in terms of being decisive when matters called.
The type of rush with which Jega wanted to make the general election take place in January 2011 when he was barely few months in the office and everybody doubted the possibility in the first instance; this called to question his thoughts and administrative capabilities. When the aspect of the DDC machine came, the way he handled the issue was not quite satisfactory. The voter's registration exercise never went smooth. And then the voting proper; twenty four hours to the April 2 first balloting Jega still gave the electorate the confidence that all things were place, but as the balloting was going one, he called it off and in panic tried to shift it to April 4, which never held.
One fact remains that the electorate still went on with Professor Attahiru Jega because Nigerians were eager to move on and forget the past. The elections were marred with some irregularities which should have rendered it not better than those of 2003 and 2007. Nevertheless, people were swept off their feet because of Jega's new innovation that vote cast must be counted and announced at the each polling booth; it was highly hailed. But the greatest undoing of that good innovation was that Jega did not consider how to police those results up to and beyond the collation centres where figures were altered with the connivance of compromised INEC officials. That forms the bedrock of the many election petitions in various parts of the country and the judiciary is expected to do good job.
But the most disturbing is that till today many contractors are still being owed huge sums of money. They mill around the INEC headquarters on daily basis in frustration. These contractors include those that supplied materials, equipment and also some of the ad-hoc staff that their remunerations are still being owed. Professor Jega it would be recalled got all the funds he requested from the federal government; President Jonathan further confirmed this during the inauguration of the 22-man Election Violence Probe Panel. Why the bureaucracy and seeming delays in paying the contractors that made the election smooth for him? Jega should be called to order immediately, to clear all outstandings without further delays.
Dr. Segun Osobu
Osborne Road, IKOYI