Nigeria’s politicians are militants; they live reckless lives – Jega
Immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has accused Nigerian politicians of living extravagant lives.
According to him, one of the biggest challenges confronting the commission is the reckless mindset of politicians, who believe that winning an election is a do-or-die affair.
Jega, made history in 2015 after he presided over the commission that conducted the first election to unseat a sitting president in Nigeria.
Jega spoke in Lagos on Saturday at the 50th birthday ceremony of the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).
He delivered a paper entitled, “Challenges and prospects of sustainable credible elections in Nigeria.”
Jega said, “INEC, as an election management body, faced perhaps its greatest challenge containing the predisposition and reckless mindset of Nigerian politicians. I quite often say that Nigeria has a special breed of politicians – ‘militicians’.
“They generally tend to believe that political power, through election, has to be captured and this has to be done by hook or by crook; and by any means necessary.
“For many, winning election is literally a do-or-die affair. That is why the Nigerian political arena increasingly resembles a bloody battlefield with maiming, killing, burning, assassinations and unimaginable destruction of lives and property.
“Navigating the minefield of do-or-die politicians as an impartial electoral umpire requires nerves of steel and requisite thick skin as well as appropriate containment.
“As long as politicians continue to have unwholesome mindset, efforts at electoral reform and deepening democracy would remain constrained and susceptible to reversal. This is therefore a key area of priority focus as we contemplate sustainable credible elections in Nigeria.”
Jega recalled that prior to the 2011 and 2015 general elections, which he supervised, the Nigerian electorate had been frustrated and became apathetic, so that they no longer wanted to come out and vote.
Recently, the former INEC boss declared that Nigeria’s unity is “as sacrosanct as akin to a catholic marriage”, even though, according to him, it was not necessarily a perfect union.
Via Daily Post