Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said that the body is putting everything in place for the smooth conduct of the 2015 elections.
Speaking during a public lecture on “Values, Electoral Systems and the Importance of Successful Elections In Nigeria’s Foreign Policy” at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos on Thursday, Jega said: “Our preparation for 2015 elections have three focal points namely, structure, policy and plan. In structure, we have taken a long and deep look at INEC as an institution –its structure and processes, as well as its human resources. In policy, we have focused on developing new policies to guide our work and create the right normative framework for successful election management in Nigeria.
“Finally in planning, we have focused on both strategic planning. The following are some details of what the Commission has done in the past 24 months as it prepares for 2015 elections”.
Jega added that a Strategic Plan (2012 to 2016), and a detailed Strategic Program of Action have been formulated and are being implemented.
“A detailed Election Project Plan has been drafted, and is being implemented to ensure seamless execution of specific tasks leading to the 2015 elections. A comprehensive re-organisation and restructuring of the Commission has been completed, drawing from the recommendation of a highly rated management consulting firm”, he said.
The INEC boss said that it should always be borne in mind that Nigeria is still a country in transition. “In the sense of consolidating democratic structures and practices. We are still nurturing a democratic political culture after years of military rule and the anti-democratic tendencies it fostered. “Consequently, our electoral system is yet work in progress and calls for the implementation of reform measures that are aimed at incremental positive changes that are sustainable. Democratisation, in all societies, is neither swift nor smooth sailing. It is always a long and tortuous process that takes place in incremental waves”.
He disclosed that some of the lessons that the INEC learnt from the reviews of 2011 elections include that good elections are about adequate and timely planning. “We have come to learn that there is no alternative to planning and preparing adequately. Election projects in a country like Nigeria are massive undertakings and require very professional planning”.