2023 General Elections Doubtful, Says Jega
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said the 2023 elections may not hold except the nation stopped the challenges of insecurity confronting it.
Jega said this in Ibadan on Thursday at the 4th Abiola Ajimobi Foundation and donation of Senator Abiola Ajimobi Resource Centre to the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan.
Jega said, “Unless elections are conducted in an environment that is peaceful and secure its integrity and even the legitimacy of the outcome of that election will be questioned.
“Security challenges undermine electoral integrity. It constrains or disrupts or prevents preparations and conduct of elections and it leads to partially if not totally illegitimate electoral outcomes.
“As we look forward to the 2023 general elections, there is increasing apprehension that the pervasive insecurity situation in the country may present a formidable obstacle if not obstruction to that election.
“If not appropriately and effectively mitigated, security challenges would pose the most serious danger to the integrity of the election process if it evens allows the election to be conducted.”
Wife of the late former Oyo State Governor, Florence Ajimobi, said the foundation donated the building to the institute as part of its contributions towards expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
Ajimobi said, “Election security and good governance, as a theme, is intended to prepare the grounds for peaceful and proper elections in the country in earnest, such that will substantially eliminate any impediment in our transition processes.
“Consequently, when the process of attaining public leadership status is effectively and transparently harnessed, a better-managed country and citizenry emerge, to the delight and satisfaction of all who desire it and the disappointment of those who detest and sabotage it!
“The collaboration strongly believes that our country shall emerge stronger and compellingly more purposeful for its citizenry. Once the process of assuming leadership is further strengthened and the voice and choice of the people are truly reflected in the quality of managers and management which emanate from the renewed process.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who Inaugurated the resource center, said humans had yet to establish fairer system of government than democracy.
The VP said, “Man has not yet developed a fairer or a more just system of establishing government, than the government of the people, by the people, for the people. History has demonstrated that it is this system, captured in one word – democracy, that guarantees the respect for rights of individuals to choose their leaders.
“This right of choice is a civil and political right, and it is fundamental, because that is what separates us in terms of organisation from animals. This system of government guarantees the accountability of the elected to the electorate. And as electorate determine every electoral cycle, by their free choice , whether the mandate given was properly utilized.
“So, the major issue is how to ensure that this right of free choice is not corrupted anywhere. Once that right of free choice is violated, the basis of democracy and its focus – good governance, is on the line.