As INEC’s Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega officially ends his tenure, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has hailed the enviable record set by the electoral boss.
According to Atiku, the successful conduct of the 2015 elections with the introduction of Card Reader and Permanent Voters Card (PVC) had tremendously boosted Jega’s reputation and earned him the respect of Nigerians and the international community.
A statement signed by Mazi Paul Ibe and released by the Atiku Media Office (AMO) in Abuja on Monday, 29 June quoted the former Vice President and chieftain of APC as stressing that Jega had disarmed even the worst pessimists that never gave him the slightest chance to produce free and fair elections in Nigeria.
Atiku said Jega had made a huge difference in the conduct of credible elections, and that he left no one in doubt that he deserved the appointment in the first place.
He explained that he was impressed by Jega’s remarkable comportment, patience, calmness and presence of mind under very tense situations.
The former Vice President noted that Jega had set a standard that would require his successor to work twice as hard to maintain his record and build on it.
In particular, Atiku recalled that some pessimists were already signing the requiem of Nigerian’s demise with the 2015 elections, the ominous deadline for the country’s alleged disintegration.
He said at every turn, Jega rose to the occasion even in the face formidable challenges.
The former Vice President said it was not how many years an official spent in office that matters, but how he/she was able to make an impact within the scope of the opportunity he/she had to serve his/her country.
To this extent, he said, Professor Jega didn’t disappoint Nigerians, and that history would write a favourable verdict on his impressive record.
However, the former Vice President, urged anybody appointed to succeed Jega to keep the flag flying, especially by pushing for reforms that might strengthen the Electoral Act and deepen democracy.
According to Atiku, reforming the Electoral Act would go a long way to consolidate our democratic gains, and build on the efforts to achieve credible elections.