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article imageAnother professor approved as Nigeria's electoral boss Special

By Samuel Okocha     Jun 9, 2010 in Politics
Nigeria's council of state Tuesday approved the nomination of Professor Attahiru Jega as the new head of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The former boss, Maurice Iwu, a professor of Pharmacy, had been sent on a compulsory leave, satisfying the yearnings of teeming Nigerians who felt elections under his watch had problems of credibility. Indeed a number of court judgments had upturned the result declared by Iwu's INEC to the favour of plaintiffs.
The nomination of a new electoral boss had been heavily anticipated with many calling for a man of integrity and track record of transparency.
The new INEC boss, Attahiru Jegga, is a professor of political science. He is the vice chancellor of Nigeria's Bayero University, Kano. He was also the Academic Staff Union of Universities, between 1988 and 1994. During that period, the immediate INEC boss, Maurice Iwu, was the union's president.
He is popular for his principled stance on issues and was part of the famous Uwais electoral reform committee that recommended far reaching reforms in Nigeria's electoral process.
"A lot of adjustments would be made in the system as the man will take the mantle of leadership in the sense that the Uwais report recommended a lot of shakeups within INEC itself, so the man is going to make some viable changes before he can do what he wants to do," said Acheme Jack, Journalist with a government owned broadcast station in Nigeria.
With the provisional elections time table scheduled to conclude general election by the end of first quarter, next year, there are concerns about the feasibility of the new electoral boss beating the timeframe.
"If you hurry him, he will hurriedly do the job and the fire brigade approach might not bring out the best result,” said Jack.
In Jack's words: "Extending the election date a little bit forward for the dream to be realized, I think its something better, it will have nothing to do with tenure elongation."
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