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INEC; drop Lauretta’s name

Lauretta Onochie (Delta)

President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision in nominating his aide on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as one of the National Commissioners in INEC has been met stiff oppositions and condemnation from many Nigerians.

Many Nigerians have described her nomination as affront on democracy and antithetical to Buhari’s avowed commitment of bequeathing a legacy of a credible electoral process for the country.

Buhari had in a letter sent to the Senate on Tuesday listed four nominees for confirmation as national commissioners of INEC.

The nominees’ list as contained in Buhari’s letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, was read at the plenary.

Buhari said their appointment was pursuant to paragraph 14 of part 1 of the first schedule of the 1999 constitution.

Other nominees include Prof. Mohammed Sani (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa).

Onochie, who hails from Delta State, is a card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and has been very vocal in defending the Buhari APC-led government on social media.

While I don’t have any problem about her belonging to any political party, it would be morally wrong and a conflict of interest to appoint a well known partisan personality to occupy an exalted position of national commissioner at INEC.

Besides the issue of morality of such appointment, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is against the appointment of a partisan personality to occupy position in INEC in order not to jeopardize its independence as an institution.

We are all political animals and we are bound to gravitate towards where our interests are best suited.

Thus, the oppositions being mounted by Nigerians against Onochie’s nomination are germaine and must not be pushed aside.

The president should withdraw her nomination and resubmit name of qualified, non partisan personality from Delta State to take her position.

We have qualified, non partisan people in Delta State who could occupy the position and work for the interest of Nigerians without any biase for a particular political party.

Ovie Akpovwa writes from Asaba, Delta State