'Jega's Appointment Good But Electoral Reforms Better'


An Action Congress (AC) House of Representatives aspirant in the 2011 elections, Otunba Niyi Raheem says the appointment of Attahiru Jega as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was a welcome development, though everyone was expecting the much talked about electoral reforms, which does  not allow the president to appoint INEC Chairman.

He also said former Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Bagangida’s quest to contest the forthcoming election will hit the rocks.

Raheem, an aspirant for Agege Constituency, Lagos State, in the House of Representatives, told P.M.NEWS in Lagos, Nigeria, that IBB would chicken out of the race as he had once done.

“What he was reading then was the window of opportunity opened by the death of Yar’Adua. If Yar’Adua had survived, IBB will not be thinking of contesting, but the game has changed,” he said.

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Raheem added that he was very sure that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot win Lagos State next year as the AC was very much on ground to win the elections because of the outstanding performance of Governor Babatunde Fashola.

According to the aspirant, INEC might have a new direction because of the face-lift Jega might give to the body, but thinks “the electoral reforms is still better.”

“The electoral reforms will address the issue of violence during elections, the Electoral Act, electoral tribunals and others. Even in most parts of the world, you can’t rule out malpractices completely. We just have to wait and see how politicians will react to the new reforms,” Raheem stated.

Raheem, a governorship aspirant under the flagship of the AC in the 2007 election prefers the Open Secret Ballot system to Option A4, saying it was subject to intimidation but that it could be refined in some ways to make it better.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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