The former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has likened Nigeria’s politicians to militants, stating that they act alike.
Jega also condemned the country’s politicians for treating politics like a do-or-die affair, the same way militants take their course so seriously.
As reported by Punch, Jega made the comments on Saturday, October 8, during the 50th birthday celebration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire.
“INEC, as an election management body, faced perhaps its greatest challenge containing the predisposition and reckless mindset of Nigerian politicians. I quite often say that Nigeria has a special breed of politicians – militicians,” Jega said.
“They generally tend to believe that political power, through election, has to be captured and this has to be done by hook or by crook; by any means necessary. For many, winning an election is literally a do-or-die affair. That is why the Nigerian political arena increasingly resembles a bloody battlefield with maiming, killing, burning, assassinations and unimaginable destruction of lives and property.
“Navigating the minefield of do-or-die politicians as an impartial electoral umpire requires nerves of steel and requisite thick skin as well as appropriate containment.
“As long as politicians continue to have an unwholesome mindset, efforts at electoral reforms and deepening democracy would remain constrained and susceptible to reversal. This is, therefore, a key area of priority focus as we contemplate sustainable credible elections in Nigeria,” he added.
During Jega’s tenure as the INEC chairman, he was praised both nationally and globally for conducting a peaceful and transparent election, especially during the 2015 general elections which announced Muhammadu Buhari as the president under the All Progressives Congress (APC) party.