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Published On: Tue, Aug 11th, 2015

Why I Remained Calm While Orubebe Misbehaved — Jega

Prof Atahiru Jega

Prof Atahiru Jega

LAGOS AUGUST 11TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, said he remained calm while Godsday Orubebe, a former minister of Niger Delta, disrupted election because he as well as his colleagues were determined to conduct credible elections.
In an interview with Zero Tolerance, a quarterly magazine of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Jega said during the collation of results, it was evident to him that some people were bent on derailing the process by provoking him and his colleagues.
“So, we were determined to ensure that no matter the provocation we would ensure that the results were tabulated and announced,” he said.

The former electoral boss said all through the election period there were various allegations against him, but he was not bothered or afraid.
“No! Anybody who is afraid for his life will not do this kind of job. As you know, they say, “Death is a necessary end. It comes when it will come.”
“So, we did our best knowing that God wills, people can drop and die; but as long as we are alive, we will continue to do our best under all circumstances,” the former INEC boss said.
On March 31, during the collation of results of the presidential election at the International Conference, some officials of the Peoples Democratic Party, led by Mr. Orubebe, disrupted the exercise, accusing the former INEC boss of bias.
When it was obvious that the candidate of the PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan, was losing, Mr. Orubebe dramatically seized the microphone for minutes insisting that Mr. Jega was bias against the PDP, hence, should suspend announcement of result.
He accused Mr. Jega of promptly attending to complaints from the then opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, while disregarding those from the PDP.
As Mr. Orubebe fumed and cursed, interrupting the collation of resultd, Mr. Jega maintained an unusual calm.
He patiently educated the then minister on the methods and processes of filling complaints.
In the interview with Zero Tolerance, Mr. Jega said INEC had transformed to a strong institution, “firmly rooted and can survive individuals; such that individuals can come and go but the organisation remains”.
He added, “I feel satisfied that a lot has happened in INEC and whoever comes will find it easier than we found it when we came, and will be able to continue to add value to what exists.
Read full interview below. We have Zero Tolerance’s approval to republish here.

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