A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has expressed optimism that the 2019 elections would be better than that of 2015 elections giving the level of preparedness of the electoral body.
He said the current leadership of the commission has made significant and commendable progress since taking over in November 2015.
Jega disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the National Judicial Institute in a paper titled: â€œTowards Elections with Integrity in 2019, Challenges and Prospect,â€ where he stressed that the country had the worst elections in 2007, and better improved elections in 2011 and 2015.
He noted that some of the reform measures put in place to ensure success of the 2019 election includes the retention and upgrading of the smart card readers to expand their current capabilities
The former INEC chairman said it also includes initiation for the first time of continuous voters registration to update the register, successful conduct of elections into 179 federal constituencies of which only four have so far been overturned by the Election Petition Tribunal and review of polling units, registration areas, electoral constituencies and diaspora voting.
According to him, â€œSince November 2015, when the current INEC was put in place, significant, commendable progress has been made to sustain, depeen, and defend the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process.â€
â€œINEC has identified the following as outstanding challenges, money in politics, attitude and disposition of politicians, delay in the review and amendment of the electoral legal framework, funding, vote buying, election security and hate speech.â€
He recommended that Nigerians must work hard for the elimination of electoral malpractice and fraud.
The former INEC boss therefore called on the political class to imbibe and uphold core values enshrined in the Nigerian constitution which affirms the culture of democratic principles and practice as paramount.