The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest at the National Assembly, calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on October 12, nominated Onochie, his aide on social media, and five others for the INEC job.
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Onochie’s nomination had sparked thunderous outrage from the opposition lawmakers and some from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and civil society groups who argued that she was “too partisan” to be a commissioner in an important institution like INEC.
The Senate, eight months after receiving Buhari’s request, referred the nominations to its committee on INEC for screening.
The PDP members led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, demonstrated at the National Assembly and asked the Senate committee to reject the nomination of Mrs. Onochie “because she cannot be neutral or independent” in her role as INEC commissioner.
In a protest letter addressed to the committee’s chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, PDP said Onochie’s confirmation would be a wholesome abuse of democratic tenets and drag the reputation of the president and the Senate in the political mud.
The letter, signed by Sen. Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, the National Secretary, reads: “We call on your committee to reject the nomination of Mrs. Onochie because she cannot be neutral or independent as she is factually known to be an unrepentant card-carrying member of the APC with uncountable number of proofs.”