A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has warned the commission to be monitoring volunteers during the 2019 elections.
He lamented that corrupt politicians usually attempt to compromise lecturers, students and corps members engaged for elections.
Jega said this on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Prospects and Challenges of Involving Volunteers in Nigeria’s Electoral Process’ at a lecture organised in honour of the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Rahamon Bello.
He advised INEC to pay more attention to the identification and selection of credible individuals and security officers to bring about electoral integrity.
“In 2011, the Transition Monitoring Group, a network of the CSOs and professional groups working on elections, mobilised and deployed thousands of volunteers for elections observation and gathering data for parallel results tabulation.
“However, it is worrisome that some corrupt politicians are beginning to find creative ways to compromise youth corps members and some students involved in election duties.
“Similarly, as the use of academic staff as collation and returning officers has become predictable, corrupt politicians are increasingly snooping around university campuses and INEC offices, especially over governorship elections.
“They are also inducing lecturers with money in the hope of compromising their role in result collation and tabulation.
“So far, there is no evidence that they have succeeded, but the tendency is increasing and it is of great concern,” Jega said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian government has appointed Jega and ex-Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Peter Okebukola, among those to review the country’s university system.