Attahiru Jega, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says he doesn’t have any ambition in relation to the 2023 presidency.
There have been speculations on if the former INEC chairman is interested in contesting for the seat of the president, following the recent floating of a political movement in Abuja.
Jega, who had joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in 2019, had, in September 2021, been mentioned as a member of the Rescue Nigeria Project, a political movement which has Usman Bugaje, a former member of the house of representatives; Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy, and Abdulfatah Ahmed, former governor of Kwara, as members.
Some support groups in the country have also urged him to run for presidency.
But speaking on Saturday at a lecture organised by the Kwara visioners network for rural development, the political science professor said he hasn’t told anyone he is interested in running for the position.
“I have not told anybody that I have presidential ambition. These are speculations in the newspapers. It is true that I have registered as a member of a political party because I have decided no longer to do ‘siddon look’, and I have decided to contribute in any way possible to help develop a strong, political party that can be impactful, whether in the local level or in the state level, or at the national level,” he said.
“And I am devoting my life and my energy to be able to do that. When we are trying to build a party, first things first. We have to have the structure first. If people start with building a party today and deciding to become a candidate tomorrow, actually, you’re trying to destroy the basis of building the party, because everybody will have ambition.
“So there are times for everything. And I have no ambition. I know I’m a Muslim and I practise my religion and I have faith in God. I know that there is nothing that God cannot do. So, I leave what God can do to God. But I have no ambition, and I have never told anyone that I want to be president. But I want to contribute to bring positive changes to our politics and I can do it from my own little corner.”
He also said many people in government do not have much understanding of how to address the country’s challenges, and called on Nigerians to ensure that politicians are held accountable.
“When you look at the ‘governments’, whether at the local, state or at federal level, a substantial majority of them are actually clueless in terms of how they can address these fundamental challenges which the country faces,” he said.