The Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), yesterday, rejected the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano (BUK), Prof Attahiru Jega, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The group described the appointment as “unfortunate”, saying that it was a mockery of the campaign of the civil society for electoral reforms.

The Coordinator of the group, Mr Ayo Opadokun, said that the appointment process dishonoured the fine recommendations of the Uwais panel on Electoral Reforms set up by the Yar’Adua Administration.

He said that the frontline Political Scientist may have been attacked by the INEC virus as a consultant to the electoral umpire.

Opadokun doubted if a free and fair election can be guaranteed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who appointed Jega as the INEC boss when he and his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are interested forces in the 2011 general elections.

‘We have always insisted that, using the current law to appoint a new electoral commission, is like rigging from the source because the sitting executive is partisan. The President and PDP are interested in the next election. Is it fair to ask one of the parties in the contest to appoint the electoral umpire?

‘When Attahiru Jega was the President of ASUU, Maurice Iwu was the deputy Chairman. When Iwu became the chairman, Jega became a consultant to INEC. How can such a man with such a past inspire confidence in Nigerians that he will conduct a free and fair election,? he queried.

Former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives in the Third Republic, Hon Wale Oshun, said that it would have been better for the President to follow the process recommended by the Uwais Committee.

The Action congress (AC) chieftain noted that it was the first time a Northerner would occupy the position. He lamented that Dr Jonathan was toeing the path of his predecessor, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and PDP which had insisted that the President should retain the appointing authority.

But he said that, since the university don has been appointed, the onus is on him to demonstrate credibility and handle the new assignment with courage and integrity.

” It has smashed the myth that the chairman has always been appointed from the South. It is beautiful that he is from the North. His track record as a unionist in the academic stands him in good stead. He has fought for the good of the members of the academic. He should now fight for the good of Nigerians. He needs courage,” Oshun added.

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  1. Jega has in the past acquited himself well. He is fit by antecedents to be appointed INEC chairman. My only worry is the President`s decision to appoint INEC Chair against Uwais panel recommendation and wish of Nigerians. Since he is running for president, what assurance do we have that Prof Jega will not be compromised. This is my worry


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