Contrary to speculations, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, will quit office June 30.
There have been speculations, notably on social media, that the INEC chairman would quit office June 8 at the end of his five year tenure.
He was appointed in June 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, suceeding Maurice Iwu.
However, INEC spokesperson, Nick Dazang, informed PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Jega would be in office until the end of the month.
“The chairman’s tenure would end on June 30 and he is still in office,” he said.
Mr. Dazang also said Mr. Jega was not in his office Monday because he had travelled out of Nigeria on official assignment.
Mr. Jega, shortly after the last general elections which held on March 28 and April 11, said he would not be seeking for a fresh term in office.
He also said he would decline the offer of renewal if granted.
Mr. Jega is the only chairman of the electoral body to conduct two general elections in Nigeria’s electoral history.
Jega, according to Wikipedia, was born on 11 January 1957 in Jega, Kebbi State. He attended Sabon Gari Town Primary School, Jega between 1963 and 1969 and proceeded to Government Secondary School, Birnin Kebbi and then was admitted into Ahmadu Bello University Zaria’s Bayero University College, Kano in 1974, graduating in 1979 with a Second Class Upper Division BSc degree in Political Science.
He worked as a teaching assistant at Bayero University, then won a fellowship at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois in the United States (1981–1984) where he earned a PhD in Political Sciences. He returned to the Political Science Department in Bayero University in 1984 as a lecturer.
Other appointments included visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos (March 1992 – March 1993), visiting Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Stockholm, Sweden (1994), Deputy Vice-chancellor (Academic), Bayero University (1995–1996) and director, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Bayero University (2000–2004). Jega was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University in 2005.
Jega is a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and was an opponent of the Babangida military government in the early 1990s. Politically leaning towards the left, as ASUU President he was closely associated with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and continued that connection throughout his career. On 29 April 2010 he was guest lecturer for the NLC May Day celebration where he presented a paper on 50 Years of Nationhood: Challenges of Good Democratic Governance, Credible Election and the Working Class. He is widely seen as an astute intellectual with a strong sense of ethics and morality.
Jega was appointed a member of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee, which submitted a report on 11 December 2008 with recommendations that included establishing commissions to deal with Electoral Offences, Constituency Delimitation and Political Parties Registration and Regulation. The committee also recommended proportional representation and that the INEC head should be appointed by the judiciary rather than the President.
On the 28 of March 2015, under his leadership, elections were conducted in what Nigerians and the World see as free, fair and credible which declared the APC Presidential candidate General Muhammadu Buhari as winner defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.