Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
Attahiru Jega, has accused university lecturers used as ad hoc staff
during the 2019 elections of conniving with politicians to rig elections
thereby compromising the integrity of the polls.
He stated this in Kano, in his remarks at the 15th annual conference of
Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria (FAAN), which took place at the
Dangote Business School at Bayero University, Kano.
Speaking as the chairman at the opening ceremony of the two-day
conference, Jega decried the attitude of some lecturers during the poll,
whose action he said paved the way for faulty recruitment process of the
political class during the polls, thereby betraying the confidence the
electoral body reposed in them.
He said: “Look at what happened during the last elections, and the story
of irregularities being spread even in the four walls of BUK. The
politicians, through crooked means, got alliances with lecturers in the
university to compromise the system and they perpetrated all sort of
irregularities, which paved way for a faulty process for the continued
entrenchment of bad people in governance.
“Maybe I am preaching to the converted or I am talking nonsense, but
frankly speaking, I am beginning to think that we are not taking the
obligations of scholarship and intellectual engagement with the
seriousness it deserves.
“I think the major crisis in Nigeria’s democracy is that our electoral
integrity has been under assault, compromised and undermined by those
who have control over the process.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, Professor Mohammed Sanni
Abdulkadir, the Vice Chancellor, Kogi State University, Anyigba, urged
the Nigerian government to improve the funding of security agencies
fighting insurgency and other organised crime in various fronts across
the country, with a view to motivating them to be able to execute their
constitutional responsibilities with enthusiasm.