Professor Attahiru Jega was a well-deserving recipient of the coveted 2015 Anticorruption Defender Award. He was celebrated for his firm stands in the face of an evidently intimidating pressure, to manage the electoral process and provide exemplary leadership that gave us the honour of a credible, free and fair 2015 elections, and signalled the pathway to the consolidation of a true democratic culture in our country.
At the heart of the call for the genuine and credible electoral reform for country that have suffered massive electoral corruption and abuse, there was a burning desire for a person of integrity, courage, and national belief. There was no other that could fit such position than Professor Attahiru Jega (OFR) the Professor of Political Science and former Vice Chancellor at the Bayero University, Kano.
Born in 1957, Professor Jega attended Government Secondary School, Birnin Kebbi and later graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria in 1979. He then proceeded to the Mid-Western University, in Everstone, in the United States where he completed his Masters and doctoral degrees in the Political Science.
Back in Nigeria he resumed work at his Alma Mata in 1985 defining himself as a radical scholar and progressive visionary. He later led the Academic Staff Union of University [ASUU] as president, to negotiate better conditions for university teacher but more importantly helping to secure the landmark reform of an education tax. The idea eventually led to the establishment of the now famous Education Tax Fund, ETF, in 1993.
Most Nigerians will recall with pride and respect, the incredible sense of balance and control that Professor Attahiru Jega brought to the management of the general elections of March 2015. His astute stance during the election made the 2015 elections go into records as the best managed, the most credible, and the least exposed to the corrupting influence of power, money and brigandage.