THE PATH TO AMENDMENT
conviction and/or a N1 million fine.
Specifically, new polling machines must be purchased as the old ones have been found to be deficient. Additionally, a review of the voter's register of 19 states indicated that a new register is needed for credible elections. Jega aims to register at least 70 million voters and because of how late the Electoral Act was completed, his agency must register these individuals, procure all necessary materials, train electoral staff and much more in approximately 3 months so as to have a chance of conducting well organized elections that will be considered credible.
These and other issue must be tackled in order to give INEC and indeed Nigerians a fighting chance at conducting elections that are much better than those from 2007. The 2007 elections were lambasted for fraud by domestic and international observers and many results were eventually overthrown in the courts. For Nigeria to get closer to the establishment of a political system that works within the local context, the 2011 elections must, despite problems, not be seen to be overly corrupt. In Jonathan's own words while in Kampala, Uganda for the 15th African Union Summit,
"I would not also want to conduct an election in which people would raise issues. I want a situation where at the end of the elections nobody will go to court because there should be no reason for people to go to court."Post election disputes have been a shackle on democratic development and indeed, it would be a great day if Jonathan's wish came to pass. For now, all Nigeria must do is create an environment were fair elections can take place. Hopefully, the new electoral act and the solution of certain other problems will get Nigeria closer to the free, fair and credible elections it needs.