Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega has called for consolidation of electoral reform processes to deepen electoral democracy and to avoid a slide back to not too credible elections in Nigeria.
Jega, who made the call in Abuja at a policy roundtable on elections in Nigeria, noted that although the 2019 elections had come and gone, there is widespread awareness that a lot more need to be done to consolidate the reform processes.
“A continuous process of credible electoral reforms is required for countries striving to deepen and consolidate their democracy.
“Indeed, it is highly essential for countries, such as Nigeria, with a history of poorly conducted elections where efforts are being made to restore integrity to the electoral process,’’ Jega said.
He said that sustained electoral integrity was correlated to democratic consolidation, stability and legitimacy of government as well as desirable good governance.
The former INEC chairman said that since 2011, INEC had striven to ensure greater integrity in the preparation and conduct of elections in Nigeria.
He said that the bar of the credibility of Nigerian elections had hence been raised and with the raising of the bar, expectations were also raised for remarkable incremental positive changes in subsequent elections.
Jega said that it was paramount to address the issues on electoral reforms with all level of seriousness as a nation.
Jega said that it was pertinent to begin to discuss and explore additional ways and means of generating ideas and recommendations for continuous improvement of Nigerian electoral processes and for subsequent elections.
He noted that the earlier the processes began, the better the input that would be made to lNEC’s planning and preparations.(NAN)