Jega: Review of constituency delineation to affect election
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said the upcoming constituency delimitation exercise across the electoral constituencies in the country may affect outcome of elections.
He said the periodic review of the constituencies, which has not successfully been undertaken by any electoral commission in the past, has been part of the statutory requirement of the commission as contained in both the 1999 Nigeria’s Constitution as well as the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).
The chairman who said this during the inauguration of the National Committee on Constituency Delimitation (NCCD) on Monday in Abuja, explained that INEC’s final report on the exercise would be subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
“In the kind of democratic system that we operate, where constituencies are based on single-member representatives, it is necessary, as provided by the Constitution, and in line with the international best practice, that the various districts and constituencies should be reviewed periodically,”he said.
He said however that this responsibility has been difficult to discharge by the electoral body for a long period due largely to “our chequered political development,” and “partly also due to lack of sufficient critical data and expertise to allow for an open, equitable and transparent review exercise.”
Towards this, Jega said, INEC decided to seek the assistance of strategic stakeholders in pursuit of a successful review, through their technical expertise, human capacity, data and facilities, so as to nullify the previous constraints in the conduct of such reviews.
The 17-member committee has Professor Attahiru Jega as the chairman, DirectorGenerals of the National Boundary commission, National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and National Population Commission as well as the surveyor-General of the federation as members.
President Goodluck Jonathan with PDP national chairman, Ahmadu Adamu Mua’zu, during the visit of PDP leaders from the North Central Zone at the presidential villa, recently.