The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and the African Action Congress (AAC) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the nomination of his media aide, Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to avoid further mass action against his running All Progressives Congress (APC,) government
Buhari had on Tuesday submitted the name Onochie, his Special Assistant on Social Media, and three others for consideration by the Senate as INEC National Commissioners
IPAC in a statement issued Wednesday you it’s Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa demands immediate withdrawal of Ms Lauretta Onochie nomination
“It is outrageous that President Buhari would nominate his personal aide who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State as a National Commissioner of INEC in flagrant violation of the Third Schedule, Part 1, paragraph 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ( as amended) which provides that a member of the Commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity and shall not be a member of any political party.
“It is inconceivable that Mr President would nominate his personal staff and a card-carrying member of the ruling APC to serve as a National Commissioner of INEC at a time Nigerians are clamouring for electoral reform, free, fair, credible, transparent elections and sanctity of the ballot box.
“It is unacceptable, unpatriotic and attack on the nation’s emerging democracy that can trigger a mass action against the Federal Government when the country is currently facing unprecedented protests against Police brutality and demand for Police reform.”
The council noted that “Lauretta Onochie has been overzealous and reckless in carrying out her duties as President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, confronting and attacking with impunity anybody who disagrees with her principal.”
IPAC stated further that President might wish to reward her loyalty as his attack dog, but definitely not with a sensitive, non-partisan position of National Commissioner of INEC, adding that the Commission is the bedrock of the nation’s political process.
“IPAC calls on the Senate to disqualify Onochie to maintain the integrity, neutrality and acceptability of INEC as the nation’s indisputable electoral umpire. To do otherwise is to court disaster that can truncate our wobbling and fledgling democracy.
“It will also show that President Buhari has a hidden agenda to subvert the will, wish and mandate of the people in the crucial 2023 general election. “