A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Wednesday expressed optimism that the 2023 general elections would be successfully conducted.
He spoke in Abuja at a colloquium in honour of a senior fellow of the Centre for Democracy Development (CDD), Prof. Adele Jinadu, on his 79th birthday celebration, organised by the
His comment was against the background of increasing attacks on INEC facilities of and violence at political campaigns.
He said while he had fears about the outcome of the elections, “I remain hopeful that in spite of the recklessness that we see, in spite of the vandalism that we see perpetrated by many of our so-called leading politicians, we’re hopeful that people will mobilise and become effectively engaged in the electoral process so that we have a good outcome in 2023.
“We can’t give up hope. We still have to engage because the more we engage, the more the possibility of change happening,” Jega said.
He described Jinadu as a beacon of hope for the next generations passionate about the need to reform Nigeria’s electoral process.
He noted that Nigeria is at a very critical junction when the promises of democratic development are being systemically undermined and eroded.
Director, The Electoral Hub, Hamman-Obels, described Jinadu as an icon of democracy who worked tirelessly in reforming the nation electoral integrity.
A former INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Okey Ibeanu, said the 2023 elections would be very important in defining the future of the country.
On his part, Jinadu expressed concerns over the growing vicious attempt to discredit the leadership of INEC.
He said, “It must be realized that INEC is not the enemy of democracy but those who are afraid of INEC’s daring attempt to routinize electoral integrity as the core of our country’s electoral process and electoral governance and whom we must expose for their diversionary tactics to shift attention from their undemocratic, unpatriotic agenda.”