Professor Attahiru Mahamadu Jega, Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday said the INEC has drawn lots of inspiration from Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, Dr Kwadwo…. Afari-Gyan.
This, according to the INEC boss had contributed partly to the success of the elections held in Nigeria last March.
Speaking on Adom FM on Thursday, Prof Jega described Dr Afari-Gyan as “a shining example to the leadership of other election management bodies in Africa.”
Prof. Jega noted that, Nigeria had benefitted tremendously from the experience, wisdom and advice of Ghana’s EC chairman.
“I have nothing but commendation for the Ghanaian Electoral Commission and in particular for the leadership of Dr Afari-Gyan,” he said.
Prof. Jega noted that a former member of Ghana’s EC, whose name he did not mention, helped the INEC in solving its logistic challenges.
The collaboration of stakeholders in the electoral process, he said ensured free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria, and advised the government of Ghana to find a very suitable and competent replacement for Dr Afari-Gyan.
Prof. Jega said the INEC was ready to partner Ghana in her 2016 elections, expressing optimism that Ghana and Nigeria would establish electoral partnership.
He explained that this could give staff of the electoral bodies of the two countries the opportunity “to switch at any time to exchange and share ideas,” for efficient and effective conduct of elections.
Prof. Jega advocated the establishment of corporation between election management bodies in Africa, to ensure peaceful and successful elections on the continent.
On the resolution of electoral disputes, he said Ghana’s 2012 election petition, which was keenly followed by INEC, clearly demonstrated the commitment of politicians to follow due process when they are aggrieved or dissatisfied with electoral outcomes.
“The Ghanaian example is good and although it was very strenuous, in the end the Supreme Court (SC) gave judgement, which was accepted by all concerned,” Prof Jega said,and urged other African countries to reciprocate Ghana’s example.
“We hope that will be something that we will begin to see not just in Nigeria but all over Africa where people rather than resorting to violence will trust the process and if they are not satisfied with the outcome will go to the court and no matter long it takes in the courts, eventually justice will be served,” he advised.
Prof. Jega praised the SC for doing an excellent job by patiently sifting through the evidences provided before making a final determination.