Jega Why Nigerian politicians are most difficult in the world - Ex-INEC boss

He said the politicians are at their best when it comes to scheming and actualizing their goal  “hook or crook”.

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Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has described Nigerian politicians as the “most difficult to deal with in the world."

He said the politicians are at their best when it comes to scheming and actualizing their goals by “hook or crook”.

According to Daily Post, Jega stated this on Wednesday, March 16, at Chatham House in London during an interactive session after delivering a lecture titled: "Challenges of Modernising Election Processes: the Nigerian Experience."

“When I was vice-chancellor, I thought students were the most difficult to deal with,” he said, adding that he found out Nigerian politicians are the most difficult when he assumed office at INEC.

Recounting his experience at INEC, he said he made frantic efforts to carry politicians along by keeping them in the loop about activities and initiatives of the electoral body.

He said but the same people who approved the plans would suddenly make a U turn, or accuse the electoral body of trying to favour rival parties if things did not go their way.

Explaining further, the professor made an example of the Goodluck Jonathan administration regarding the voters' cards.

READ: ‘I’m not interested in a longer tenure,’ Jega says

He said the immediate past administration and the seventh National Assembly approved funds for smart card readers and permanent voters cards after being convinced that the usage would enable credible elections. But when it dawned on them that they would not be able to manipulate elections as they did in the past, they strongly opposed the initiatives.

Jega attributed the success of the 2015 general elections to the adoption of technology in both the planning, management and conduct of the elections; expressing that “transparent and credible elections have come to stay in Nigeria”.

He however identified some challenges in using technology to conduct transparent elections - they include funding, people's suspicion of technology and rigidity to changes by politicians.

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