The shocking postponement of the current parliamentary election by INEC, while indeed exceedingly disappointing to the 73 million voters primed for casting their votes in this all too important elections, was not entirely unexpected in reasoned and enlightened quarters. As a possible foretaste of what is to possibly come in the next two elections, it is a troubling start by a troubled INEC.
In spite of Professor Jega’s previous assurances that INEC ‘was ready’, and in addition, placing his own personal reputation at stake, in the light of this announcement, both have suffered a serious loss of credibility in the eyes, hearts and minds of about 150 million Nigerians.
At this point, WANGONeT believes that it is only fair that we all wait until Monday before we can conclusively pass judgment on this case of serious organizational failure and leadership. We nonetheless can state that from Prof Jega’s announcement, there are serious lapses in the logistics and chain of custody processes that should have delivered the necessary INEC staff and materials on time in the supposed 120,000 voting stations nationwide. Right now, with this dangerous false start, the question on everybody’s mind is if the next attempt on Monday will be better and good enough to restore flagging public confidence that the next cycles of elections in the incoming weeks will ensure that Nigeria can indeed pull-off the seeming miracle of Free, Fair and Competent elections.
We can only hope.
The West African NGO Network (WANGONeT) with the support of Department for International Development (DFID) executed a rare and an eye-opening project titled “HOW NOT TO RIG AN ELECTION”. This was with a focus to unveiling pathways for ensuring fair and credible election in Nigeria.
The First Phase of the project was a comprehensive research which studied the underlying complexities of how various forces connived and converged to rig the 2007 and other previous elections in the country. While the Second phase brought together political analysts from media houses, civil societies, political party leaders, top level Police and Security delegates, international development partners and other stakeholders in a rigorous brainstorming session that analyzed rigging strategies and the electoral systemic challenges using a mind mapping approach. Click here to learn more
- Previous story Nigeria Elections 2011: What was Caught on Camera #PhotoSpeak
- Next story Opinion: Of Jega and the NASS elections