The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has finally opened up on how the Goodluck Jonathan administration had attempted to interfere with the 2015 elections.
While speaking in an interview with Jamie Hitchen, a policy researcher at Africa Research Institute, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, disclosed that the immediate past government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to interfere with the 2015 elections.
According to Jega, Jonathan’s government tried to “interfere with the decision of INEC to use electronic card readers”, and the attempt was resisted by the body.
The former INEC boss, however, commended the former President, saying he meant well for “our democracy”,adding that Jonathan granted all the financial requests of INEC.
He said, “The administration of Goodluck Jonathan, president from 2010 to 2015, never gave any reason to suspect that there was a deliberate and wilful attempt to emasculate the funding of INEC.
“For this they should be applauded. No situation arose where we had to go cap-in-hand to the executive looking for funding and I must add that when supplementary funding was needed, it was nearly always forthcoming.
“For most of the time during our tenure, President Jonathan tried not to personally interfere with the Commission’s work.
“Only in the run-up to the 2015 election did his government and ruling political party seek to interfere with the decision of INEC to use electronic card readers.
“We were able to remind them that they had supported the idea and funded it. Overall I think that President Jonathan meant well for democracy in our country, a view strengthened by the gracious way he conceded electoral defeat in 2015.”
He said the experiences of the Anambra election of 2013 and Osun, Ekiti in 2014, helped the commission to prepare well for the 2015 general election.