Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega has berated the National Assembly over the amendment of the election timetable.
He said the action threatens the independence of INEC and subverts its power as provided in the constitution.
Jega stated this on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at an event organised by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Development, in Abuja.
In the amendment, as it pertains to the election timetable, the national assembly election will come first, followed by governorship and state house of assembly while the presidential election will come last.
According to Jega, the altered timetable would result to more cost of conducting elections.
“We should not do anything to undermine the democratic process, thus we need to keep on adding value to the process,” he said.
The ex-INEC boss said there is need for the mobilisation of Nigerians in towns and villages to be part of the electoral process for the nation’s democratic process to remain intact.
He called on civil society organisations (CSOs) to reinforce their commitment to mobilise voters to come out to vote during elections.
He added: “Whatever we do, we should remember where we are coming from which is as a result of sweat and blood of our compatriots.
“Our challenges are difficult but not impossible to address. It’s imperative that we find ways to contain the excesses of our politicians come 2019 elections, otherwise their excesses will keep undermining the electoral processes.”
Jega is a former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano.
On 8 June 2010, he was nominated by former president Goodluck Jonathan as the new Chairman of INEC, subject to Senate confirmation.
He replaced Professor Maurice Iwu, who vacated the post on 28 April 2010.
Jega is the only INEC chairman to oversee two General Elections – 2011 and 2015