Jega: Re­view of con­stituency de­lin­eation to af­fect elec­tion

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

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.

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