Buhari calls for Jega’s sack, accuses INEC of deep corruption

Former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s former head of state Muhammadu Buhari, has called for the sack of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, and other top officials of the commission, saying the electoral body, as presently constituted, cannot be trusted to deliver on credible elections.

Speaking in London at the 4th British-African Diaspora conference held at the British House of Parliament on the theme “Stable Democracy and Nigeria’s Economy,”, Mr. Buhari said sacking Mr. Jega and his lieutenants is a good starting point for fixing Nigeria’s broken electoral system.

“All the present indications are that INEC as it is presently constituted would be unable to deliver any meaningful elections in 2015,” the former head of state said. “INEC’s top echelon is immersed deep in corruption and only wholesale changes at the top could begin to cure its malaise.”

He said for future elections to be credible and hitch-free, government needs to do a clean sweep of the personnel at INEC, replacing them with Nigerians of unquestionable integrity.

“What is required is a group of independent minded people, patriotic, incorruptible but with the capacity to handle such a strenuous assignment of conducting elections in Nigeria. It is not difficult to find such people but whether the Government and the National Assembly have the inclination to do so I am not so sure.” Mr. Buhari added.

He accused the Jega-led INEC of having developed “a very cozy relationship with Executive and Judicial arms of government that its impartiality is totally lost”.

Mr. Buhari recalled that in the run-up to the last elections the electoral body “requested (and received with indecent haste) in excess of 80 billion naira (about £340m.) a hefty sum by any standards, so that it could conduct the elections including organizing bio-metric voters data specifically for the 2011 elections”.

He said that but when opposition parties “challenged the patently dishonest figures it announced and subpoenaed the bio-metric data in court, INEC refused to divulge them on the laughable excuse of “National Security”.

Mr. Buhari also spoke on a wide range of issues from state creation to zoning system, poverty and wealth creation as well as the 2015 general elections. He said the scourge of corruption is deeply rooted in the nation, which puts the fight against the menace beyond the capacity of any government.

Reiterating the view expressed in a recent interview by the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, Ekpo Nta, that “there is no political will (by government) to fight corruption in Nigeria”, the former Presidential flag bearer of the CPC underscored the need for cooperation by all Nigerians in the campaign to rid the country of corruption in all its ramifications.

“Until serious efforts are made to tackle corruption, which is beyond the capacity of the government, economic growth and stability will continue to elude us,” he noted.

He, however, acknowledged Nigeria’s capacity to emerge as an economically competitive nation if the wrongs of political and economic corruption are corrected, adding that “democracy” cannot function optimally without a certain level of economic attainment.

According to the CPC chieftain, there is no short cut to poverty eradication other than to get people to work and earn their living, pointing out that there was need to ensure that agriculture thrives throughout the country through the provision of adequate incentives, like fertiliser, pesticides and small-scale credits to farmers.

He identified agriculture as one area that would greatly boost the growth of Nigeria within five to seven years, adding that the massive drift from rural to urban centres would be greatly reduced if proper attention is given the sector by government and other stakeholders.

He said attention should also be paid to the revival of employment generating activities through the small and medium enterprises, notably in the textiles industry and other land and forest resources-based industries to absorb the huge urban labour, in the drive to tackle poverty, reduce crime and boost economic growth.

A former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nasir El-Rufai, who also spoke at the event, said Mr. Buhari was persuaded to return to active politics even though he had earlier said he would never contest for the presidency after losing in the 2003, and 2007 elections.

On age limit for presidential aspirants, Mr. El Rufai said he believed strongly that the issue was not about age, but about (Buhari’s) “combination of the wisdom of the old, and dynamism of the young to move the nation forward.”

The conference, organised by BEN TV, was launched last year as part of efforts to engage the Diaspora on developmental issues in Nigeria.

Read Mr. Buhari’s full speech here.






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  • shinesunny65

    Buhari has dreamt that he will not be voted for as president because of his terrorist belief that is why he is shivering.even though the sponsor of bruku ram are from pdp whose region are the pdp from?they are from buhari region and are his islamic brothers.

    • Your comments lacks reasonable logic. Remember that a whole lots of people reads this!

    • FOLO

      Buhari is in a better position to lead this nation out of its present quagmire considering his antecedent but age and the power that be are working against him

      • Afam

        What makes you think Buhari is a better person ?certainly not,he was an ANPP leader when his party governor formed Boko haram at the Brono state what did he do? Yusuf the Boko haram leader was made an aid to then Governor ALI MODU SHERIFF did Buhari said anything against that?i wonder the antecedent your talking about ,ask FELA what he knows about BUHARI,ask Nduka irabor what decree 4 means during the Buhari regime,Buhari took Nigeria backward when he greedly forced democratically elected government out in 1983 and now he wants to be elected in this platform? hell no….

        • sherif A

          MY Friend …tink about ur dying country …bcos d CORRUPTION in dis country needs to be solved before dis country can develop ….and i dont c were d man dat publicly and shamelessly claimed dat STELING IS NOT CORRUPTION CAN SAVE US FROM DIS QUAGMIRE ….. even practically u shuld know JONNA is not ready to fight CORRUPTION …using d life of ALAMAISIGHA dat know contest for SENATE …..and FFK

      • paul

        Tell that to your mumu brothers up there because we knew who is buhari, killer man

      • Enemona

        Buhari, as a president of Nigeria would turn out like Hugo Chavez. He would champion the course of the poor and the voiceless but trample upon the corrupt elites (the status quo ante) and their foreign collaborators like multinational oil companies, hustlers, oil thieves, international bankers, etc who are presently gaining from the rottenness in our nation.

        They would join hands and lobby against him, drag him to international courts, frame him up, use the international media to brand him a terrorist or a dictator then the sanctions begin to pile up. Oil export sanctions, financial transaction sanctions, etc and then the economy begins to tank real bad that the opposition begins to rise.

        He has the love of this country at heart and I am in no doubt that he is a man of integrity. I believe he would do well but the challenge ahead of him is enormous. He must be ready to rock the boat!

  • Buhari or not Buhari, we have to jointly fight corruption and the corrupt people some body must start the fight- I read a piece about corruptio in one of your News delivered by a Professor one time Minister and he advices-
    Wether we like it or not, Buhari or no Buhari we have a menance that has eating so deep in our country today people who stole public fund are going about boastfully and are celebrated. As the write up of a
    There is no billionaire in Nigeria who made money without evading taxes, inflating contract prices or getting involved in one illegal deal or another, “It is sad that most businessmen are not sincere, they get their wealth through illegal means, there is no one that can be a billionaire without being corrupt in Nigeria”. For somebody to become a billionaire in Nigeria, he or she must have indulged, one way or the other, in corrupt practices.
    The corrupt practices include: tax evasion, using government money for personal business and going through illegal means to win contracts from government.
    Nigeria is currently operating a democratic system of government. That “We still need to ask whether on the national scale, we claim to be operating a democratic system in Nigeria. Or is it a civilian system. I will concede without much conviction that we are operating a version of democracy especially in contradiction to the years of military rule.”
    “Irrespective of the cynical game between the military and the civilian political elite in the governance of Nigeria, the biggest threat to our putative democracy is not from the military, but from the state of our un-development.
    “The real tragedy is that we have bred several generations who have lost hope in today and tomorrow. They have given up on Nigeria because Nigeria has given up on them.
    On the way forward, oppression and marginalisation must be discarded by all.
    On the way forward, the Nigerian leaders to discard oppression and marginalisation and work for the benefit of the generality of the citizenry.
    “The political elite must make a conscious effort to arrive at a consensus that will be the outcome of negotiation, give and take, Compromises among others. The system to be put in place should not reflect temporary advantages secured through a temporary monopoly of power.
    “We must find a way to building a nation where no man or woman is oppressed, where no man or woman is marginalised, where there is hope for everyone, where a man or a woman through hard work, honesty and integrity will have the opportunity to achieve his dreams. When dream are killed and vision dulled, the nation is finished.
    Let’s forget sentiment and fight the enemies of the masses, country.

  • Sincerely, Prof Jega may not be a “Saint” but since after Humphrey Nwosu, there has been no one seemingly “Honest” in discharging of this All Important Responsibilities of choosing our “Rulers”.
    Within the scope of his duties and context of people he needs to work with, Prof. Jega is doing well and this call for his Sack do not augur well. Instead, we all should support him to conduct a Free and Fair election come 2015. 99.9% of election rigging is done by Multiple Voting, Ballot Box Snatching, Thuggery and Bullying. And the objects these diehard “Politicians” use are still our brothers, sons, fathers, etc……..and certainly not Prof. Jega.

  • Emma Sule S. Gudi

    On Buharis’ ideologies I stand.

  • Bem Katungu

    Buhari is just trying to make his blood pressure to rise beyond redemption. The days he ruled the country are far gone and things are not the way they used to be. He should bear in mind that even if he become the President of this country,the way and manner he treated people in those old bad military days will not have a place in the country.

    Everything has to be reduced to rule of law and tenets of democratic governance. It is bad to see that a man who demolished democratic structures which the people put in place could now come back, several years down the line to think that people should be foolish enough to entrust him with their votes.

  • Afam

    Buhari i can give you solution since you don’t know how you and your military brothers invented the virus in our society.

    1.. give the Judiciary its independent by placing its budget on first line charge,retire all the old and corrupt young judges,NASS should be placed on minimum wage just as they placed our teachers and civil servants,No constituency projects,

    2..Reduce the cost of elections and campaign by political parties by making each party and their candidates to declare every amount of money they receive in their campaigns…

    3..Amend our criminal justice system by placing corrupt individuals on life time imprisonment with no option of fine..

    4..Stop the nation from depending on foreign countries for its rights and obligations..we should be able to tackle any country that aid corruption practices in Nigeria.

    5..we should invest more on ICT and IT system to track every penny that comes in and goes out of this country in any way.

    6..we should abolish bureau de change as our means of foreign money exchange market because it gives sharp accesses to the looters as many of them are the owners..

    7..All the retired military heads of states in Nigeria should give account of their regime or face going to exile in any other country and never to return to this country dead or alive both them and their families.

    8..There should be more orientation for the Nigerian citizen who taught that easiest way to make it in life is in politics and drugs.

    9..No region should see itself as superior to the other or have this mentality of born to rule or power must return to her.

    10..our public office servants should be made to declare their assets publicly on the pages of newspapers,at the courts and CCB and relevant laws that made CCB to hold the forms should be amended for Nigerians to have access to it…

    Thanks mr know it all Buhari and El-rufai until next time we meet,i will teach you guys more..

  • Desola

    A programme the Man was not in attendance … you guys have said he delivered a paper ….. o ga o

  • KC

    All past leaders know what to do to get Nigeria right but are chasing shadows because of selfish,tribal and religious interests.Can you know the content in a house more than the occupant? As long as Nigerians refuse to demand for good leadership irrespective of who is at the top,the Nigeria we dream of will continue to elude us.

  • solomon onwumere

    now that the opposition party has said it, i don’t think the APC sympathizers will see anything wrong on it.its a shame some Nigerians are still not ready for the so called “CHANGE”. please for the sake of our future Generation lets move Nigeria forward. #ForwardNigeria #GEJ4Naija

  • squarek

    It is unclear when this so called conference took place. The article mentioned the launching of the conference in 2014.If it took place last year, it is fraudulent to present this article as Buhari’s current position on the issues in discussion.

    • APC is Doomed

      That was his call in 2013. The news is from the archives. Suddenly same Jega is not corrupt anymore.

  • Anene Mercy

    So the same corrupt Jega is now Mr integrity.

  • sherif A

    my General …till DEATH i am for you ….u ar my MENTOR …….and for many i always pray ALLAH brings u …to save us exactly d way u saved us from d CORRUPT SHAGARI regime …..may ALLAH grant u dis service u want to Offer us …AMIN SUMA AMIN