Former Chairman of the Independent
National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has said that former
President, Goodluck Jonathan, never interfered with the 2015 general
In an interview with Jamie Hitchen, a
Policy Researcher at Africa Research Institute, Jega commended the
former President, saying he meant well for “our democracy”.
According to the former INEC boss, Jonathan granted all the financial requests of INEC.
He said: “The
administration of Goodluck Jonathan, President from 2010 to 2015, never
gave any reason to suspect that there was a deliberate and willful
attempt to emasculate the funding of INEC.
“For this, they should be applauded. No
situation arose where we had to go cap-in-hand to the Executive looking
for funding, and I must add that when supplementary funding was needed,
it was nearly always forthcoming.
“For most of the time during our tenure, President Jonathan tried not to personally interfere with the Commission’s work.
“Only in the run-up to the 2015 election
did his government and ruling political party seek to interfere with
the decision of INEC to use electronic card readers.
“We were able to
remind them that they had supported the idea and funded it. Overall, I
think that President Jonathan meant well for democracy in our country, a
view strengthened by the gracious way he conceded electoral defeat in
He said the experiences of the Anambra
election of 2013, and Osun, Ekiti in 2014, helped the Commission to
prepare well for the 2015 general elections.