|Attahiru Muhammadu Jega|
|Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission|
8 June 2010 (Nominated)
|Preceded by||Maurice Iwu|
11 January 1957 |
Jega, Kebbi State, Nigeria
Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega is a Nigerian academic and Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano. On 8 June 2010 he was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan as the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), subject to Senate confirmation, as a replacement for Professor Maurice Iwu, who vacated the post on 28 April 2010.
Early life and academic career
Jega 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 The Ahmadu Bello University Zaria's Bayero University College, Kano in 1974, graduating in 1979 with a Second Class Upper Division B.Sc. 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.
Jega's nomination as INEC Chairman followed approval by a meeting of the National Council of State called by President Jonathan and attended by former heads of state Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ernest Shonekan, Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Shagari. The Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives Oladimeji Bankole, and most of the state Governors also attended the meeting. Unanimous approval by the council of the nominee for this critical appointment avoided controversy about whether or not the President should appoint the chairman of the INEC. Reactions to the announcement from a broad spectrum of political leaders and organizations were positive, although some voiced concern that it could be too late to implement real reforms before the 2011 elections.
- Attahiru M. Jega (1985). The state, peasants, and rural transformation in Nigeria: a case study of the Bakolori Irrigation Project, Sokoto State. Northwestern University. p. 562.
- Attahiru Jega, ed. (2000). Identity transformation and identity politics under structural adjustment in Nigeria. Nordic Africa Institute. p. 235. ISBN 91-7106-456-7.
- Attahiru Jega and Haruna Wakili (2002). The poverty eradication programme in Nigeria: problems and prospects. Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Bayero University. p. 191. ISBN 978-2035-27-0.
- Attahiru Jega, Haruna Wakili, Mustapha Ahmad (2002). selected papers of the National Conference on "Democracy and democratisation in Nigeria: an Assessment of the Period 1999 to 2001,". Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House. p. 218. ISBN 978-2035-86-6.
- Attahiru Jega (2007). Democracy, good governance and development in Nigeria: critical essays. Spectrum Books Limited. p. 326. ISBN 978-029-784-7.
- Mohammed S. Shehu (9 June 2010). "Attahiru Jega a Radical At INEC". Daily Trust. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- EWACHE AJEFU (08/06/2010). "The Man Attahiru Jega". The Will. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Funmi Komolafe (9 June 2010). "Attahiru Jega, the New INEC Chairman". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Iyobosa Uwugiaren (5 June 2010). "INEC Chairmanship - Jonathan Picks Jega". Leadership. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Daniel Idonor (12 December 2008). "Electoral Reform - UWAIS Panel Recommends Independent Candidates". Daily Champion. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- Daniel Idonor (9 June 2010). "Attahiru Jega is New INEC Boss". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Cautious Optimism Trail Jega's Appointment". Vanguard. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.