Sunday, February 5, 2023

I’ve registered with a political party to help Nigeria: Attahiru Jega

Former INEC chairman Attahiru Jega says he has registered with the Peoples Redemption Party to save Nigeria from corrupt Nigerian politicians.

• August 2, 2021
Professor Attahiru Jega
Professor Attahiru Jega

Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, says Nigeria needs another party for credible people to participate in politics, disclosing that he has registered with the Peoples Redemption Party for that cause.

Mr Jega, in an interview with BBC Hausa, said Nigerians have experienced governance under both the PDP and APC and have seen that the two parties do not have plans for positive change in the country.

Mr Jega said it is time for Nigerians to consider another platform for positive change in the country.

“That is why we think it is time to create a platform for all good people to return to, to contribute to the cause of change in Nigeria,”  Mr Jega said.

“That is why I have already registered with the PRP as a party member to see how I can help Nigeria.”

A former university vice-chancellor, Mr Jega is a left-leaning activist who once led Nigerian universities lecturers union, ASUU in the 1990s.

He superintended over Nigerian general elections in 2011 and 2015, the latter ushering in incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. The elections were adjudged much freer and fairer than other elections conducted recently.

Mr Jega berated the PDP and APC, saying  “The APC and the PDP have [ruled] all we have seen, they do not mean reform.” He suggested that individuals in both parties are particularly corrupt, with no clear distinction.

“If you look at the fight against corruption, all the people who are said to be thieves and will be punished because they stole under the PDP… now they have defected to the APC, and you are silent,” he added. 

The APC and the PDP remains Nigeria’s most dominant political parties, controlling a number of states. 

As the Nigerian electoral system does not allow independent candidacy, analysts believe it would be hard for another party, outside of the two, to immediately usurp them for federal power.

In 2019, Nigerians witnessed drove of outliers like Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, Kingsley Moghalu, former central bank deputy governor, and Tope Fasua, joining politics  and floating new political parties with the aim of leading the country. 

Many of them however could not muster significant electoral numbers to signal their influence on the field. INEC has since deregistered 78 political parties for not measuring up to minimum electoral showing at the last election.

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