Prof. Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that in 2023, elections should be conducted with a new law to improve integrity.
Speaking at a Citizens’ Townhall meeting on the Electoral Bill, 2021, organised by YIAGA Africa in Abuja, on Sunday January 16, Jega noted that it is difficult to conduct elections in Nigeria as there has not been a significant improvement in the electoral framework since 2010.
Jega also said that though there could be some grey areas in the Electoral Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to, the bill should not be dumped because there are many good things in it.
“I believe Nigeria should go into the next elections with a new law as there are many good things in the bill that will improve the integrity and conduct of elections.
“As I have said earlier, since 2010, we have not had significant improvement in the electoral framework.
“Speaking on direct and indirect primaries, some people believe that governors do influence the outcome of indirect primaries and some feel direct primaries is a way out of this, but the question is, how many parties have a credible register of members?
“Give INEC the law to begin preparations for the 2023 elections. Any governor that manipulates direct primaries under this present condition will also have the capacity to manipulate indirect primaries.
“What we are saying is that you cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. Let’s think more carefully. The good things in the bill should be signed into law immediately so that INEC can start serious work for the 2023 elections.”