Justice Mohammed Uwais, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, on Monday said in Abuja that the credibility of the 2015 general elections has changed the negative mindset of Nigerians towards the country’s electoral process.
Uwais noted that Nigerians’ belief that a credible election was impossible has changed drastically owing to the outcome of the general elections.
Speaking at a national conference on ‘2015 General Elections in Nigeria: The Real Issues,’ organised by The Electoral Institute, the ex-CJN said election mindset is one of the critical elements that determined the success of electoral processes of any country.
He said, “The electoral mindset of Nigerians has hitherto been negative. I am of the opinion that the credibility of the 2015 general elections has affected, if not changed, the election mindset of the generality of Nigerians.”
Though he added that the 2015 election was adjudged free and fair, he believed that there were still some obstacles to scale.
“Some of the outstanding obstacles are highlighted in the report of the electoral committee of which I was honoured to chair between 2007 to 2008, while new ones raised their heads during the 2015 general elections, like the operations of the card reader budget,” he added
The Acting National Chairman of the commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari, said the commission believed that it has a lot to learn from stakeholders to improve on its shortcomings and weakness.
Zakari, who was represented by the Chairman of TEI Board, Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku, said INEC’s focus is to design and implement electoral policies and proffer solutions that would not only solve electoral problems, but also win public trust.
She stated, “The citizenry can trust an electoral umpire, only when the Election Management Body is able to deliver electoral service creditably well.
“We are happy that citizens’ trust in the commission has been rekindled and faith in the electoral process is becoming stronger.”
The Director General of TEI, Prof. Abubakar Momoh, said given the contentious nature of the 2015 general elections, the belief of the institute and INEC was that there was need to give stakeholders the avenue to critically examine the entire process.