Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All the right words

Nigeria's electoral commission is much better than it used to be. But elections are still suspect. President Buhari used all the right words when he appointed the new commission. Will behavior change to match the ideals?

President Buhari Swears in INEC Chairman, Commissioners
President Muhammadu Buhari… swore in the new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, alongside new national commissioners, at a ceremony at the council chambers of the presidential villa…

"The nation has reposed a lot of trust and confidence in you. You cannot afford to fail," he said…

He said "It starts from change of attitudes, change of work ethics, change in attitude to corruption and corrupt practices, change of party political conduct-right from primaries to the emergence of candidates and finally the conduct of elections".

President Buhari said his administration respects the independence of the electoral body, by not interfering in its activities, but will encourage them to conduct transparently free and fair elections…

"In almost all the States, the party of the sitting government wins all the Council Elections. There is nothing wrong with that if it is the true wish of the people, but majority of Nigerians more often than not think it is not, hence have little respect for the outcome of our council elections. This is responsible for questioning the integrity of such election winners throughout their tenure" he said.

Another area of concern, the President said is the justice administration of the Electoral Tribunals. He said addressing the electoral shortcomings was long overdue adding that all found culpable in electoral fraud, violence and thuggery should be prosecuted…

The INEC chairman who responded on behalf of the newly sworn in commissioners, pledged commitment in the discharge of duties.

"We shall not fail the nation," said Mr. Yakubu.

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