How Jega manipulated 2015 elections – Former Minister

By Sanni Muhammed November 30, 2015 13:16

How Jega manipulated 2015 elections – Former Minister

A former Minister under the Goodluck Jonathan administration has revealed that prior to the 2015 General election; sufficient evidence was already available to effect the removal of former Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Attahiru Jega over his hatched manipulation of the electoral processes.

Abubakar Sulaiman who was in charge of the Ministry of Planning and often spoke for the Ministers said that it was just Jonathan’s conviction for peace and respect for lives of many citizens that made him cede power to President Muhammadu Buhari, especially to avoid bloodshed and outrage if Jega had been removed.

He said this while delivering a paper on the 2015 power transition in Nigeria at the Annual Zik Dinner Lecture /Award in Abuja on Sunday November 29, while refuting claims that Jonathan relinquished power to Buhari on account of external pressure from the international community.

    “Few months to the general elections, there were calls from some quarters for the sack of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

    “There were sufficient grounds for such calls but President Goodluck maintained a position that taking such decision would altercate the process and create an impression which only an insider would understand. There were indeed cases of compromise on the part of the commission, but as the president so wished, let the sleeping dog lies.

    “Invariably, the decision to maintain the status quo in the commission by the administration was one decision that further led credence to the peaceful outcome of the electoral process.

    “We must not forget that the president in his exercise of his constitutional power has the authority to fire the chairman and replace him with any of the National Commissioners to preside over the commission.

    “Nobody should be on the illusion that the president lacked the gut to exercise such power. After all, Gen. Babangida annulled theJune 12 election, thereby depriving Chief M.K.O Abiola of his awaiting victory.

    “It is within context of this remarkable gesture and unparallel leadership style of the president that I found it disturbing when the APC led government sometimes grudgingly acknowledged this fact or believed that it was the external pressure that accounted for such political accomplishment.”

Suleiman added that if Jonathan had wanted to scuttle Buhari’s election, he would have used the incumbency factor.

    “The extent to which a political transition is peaceful and credible depends largely on variance of factors. We have however demonstrated the import of leadership factor has been consequential to the outcome of any electoral process.

    “Is it the leadership that was out to tame the process or the one that respect the sanctity of the electoral body and other agencies?”

See: Why Nigeria’s current suffering is not a priority for Buhari