General News of Thursday, 17 December 2015
The former Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria, Professor Atahiru Mohamadu Jega, has recommended a non-partisan approach to tackle any problems with Ghana’s electoral roll.
He said that was the way out of the controversy and challenges – concerning minors and foreigners on the voters register.
“If the magnitude of the issue of minors and foreigners is very huge to compromise the results of an election, then there is the need to collectively establish a threshold on the integrity of the register and develop a non-partisan approach to address it.”
He was speaking at the second session of the first in a series of public lectures being organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to mark its 25th anniversary in Kumasi.
“Towards free and fair elections in 2016 – the Nigerian experience” was the theme.
Prof Jega said credible electoral roll was crucial for free, fair and transparent elections, adding that, the decision to share insights and experiences on the success story of Nigeria, was to tell people on the African continent of the contribution of appropriate electoral processes and reforms to attaining successful electoral outcomes.
It is also to help African countries to avoid mistakes and pitfalls and take initiatives that could improve on democratic governance and socio-economic development of the people.
He said through proper planning, innovation, building partnerships and collaborations with all stakeholders, the use of appropriate technology and steadfastness on the part of INEC, Nigeria was able to rise above numerous intractable challenges to come out with one of the most successful elections in recent times.
Prof Jega underlined that “good governance could only happen when the true will of the people prevailed”.
He said Ghana had a unique opportunity in 2016, to surpass what Nigeria achieved in 2015 and called for the involvement of all key actors in the electoral process to achieve the desired goal.
He spoke of the need for adequate time for preparation and transparency in all the processes leading to the elections to ensure that all actors knew what was happening at any given period.
All eyes, he said, would be on Ghana and expressed the hope that everybody would play their expected roles well.