INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega forecloses tenure extension; quit in June

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has said that he would leave when his tenure ends on June 30.

He was appointed in June 2010 and his tenure will elapse on June 30, but speaking with the BBC Hausa Service in Abuja last Wednesday, Jega said that he would not accept a tenure extension or renewal.

Jega, who was a serving Vice Chancellor of Bayero University Kano before his appointment in June 2010 said during an interview with BBC Hausa Service, "I am grateful to God. I was asked to come and contribute my own quota to the national development and I have done my bit to the best of my ability.
“Whatever assignment one will do for five years – just like this difficult one, to me if one is able to successfully accomplish the task, someone else should be given the opportunity, because for me I am not interested and if I am requested to serve again, I will not do it, by God’s grace,” Jega said.
Jega had told critics pushing for his ouster that he would not resign his appointment as he had a job to do.

While responding to questions at a town hall meeting organised by Reinvent Media in conjunction with Ford Foundation and Kukah Centre in Abuja on Monday, the INEC chairman stressed that he intended to superintend over the polls and that he has a job to do and would remain focused to ensure that the job is done.“I am not under pressure to resign. It would be unfair for me to say that I will resign when I have a job to do. I remain focused,” he said.

He also said that there was no truth in the insinuation that he was being forced to proceed on a terminal leave, adding, “Terminal leave is an option, a grace period given to anyone to go on leave before he finally leaves office. As I have said earlier, I have a job to do till April 11.

“Terminal leave is not an option. Nobody has asked me to proceed on terminal leave other than what I read in the newspapers.”

Jega said the calls for his resignation were politically motivated, stressing, “I want to assure Nigerians that a lot of things being said are diversionary.”

The outgoing INEC chairman is the only person that has conducted two general elections - in 2011 and 2015 - in the political history of Nigeria.

Credit: Chuks Okocha/ThisDay