The Concerned Nigerians Group and the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria have commended the 9th Senate for rejecting the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Committee, Kabiru Gaya, said in his report that Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character Principles.
Concerned Nigerians Group, in a statement by its spokesperson, Theophilus Abuh Agada, commended this move by the Senate.
It noted that the nomination of Onochie, a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress and special assistant to the president as INEC commissioner is an aberration and mockery of Nigeria’s democracy.
“We commend the Nigerian Senate for showing extraordinary courage in rejecting the nomination of Onochie as INEC commissioner. INEC is an independent institution, and the candidacy of Onochie negates the principle upon which the body was established.
“Onochie is not just partisan; she has proven over time to be a paid hack of the ruling party. Her demonstrable actions in defending the president and politicians elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress will affect her sense of judgment in discharging her duties as an INEC commissioner.” the group said.
The group stated that an INEC commissioner ought to be someone with no questionable character but with proven integrity.
It also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended electoral bill to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral process and ensure transparency and credibility in elections.
“If the President means well for Nigeria and he is concerned about the quality of leaders elected into different offices, he should sign the amended electoral bill rather than appointing an aide of questionable integrity that will help him and his party rig elections.
“In the same vein, we call on the National Assembly not to reverse the gains we have made in our electoral process by banning the electronic transmissions of results.
” The ruling All Progressives Congress succeeded in 2015 in assuming power because of the innovative introduction of a card reader. The National Assembly must continue to support creative ideas by INEC, which will help the commission conduct free, credible and transparent elections.
“Finally, we call on the Inspector General of Police to begin immediate prosecution of Lauretta Onochie for brazenly lying under oath.”
The Northern Youths Council of Nigeria also lauded the Senate’s rejection of the nomination of Onochie, describing it as a victory for democracy and confirmation of the Independence of the National Assembly.
In a statement by its President, Isah Abubakar, the group stated those who badly counseled President Buhari to make such nominations had better “desist from misleading him or risked facing the anger of Northern youths.”
The Council admonished the leaders of the National Assembly and other Legislative wings to continue to put Nigeria’s Democracy first above party and individual sentiments.
It said, “Without democracy, the Senate President would have been handling chalk in the classroom, or Mr. Speaker would have been busy in court without the hope of occupying the sensitive positions democracy afforded them. This also applies to other members of the National Assembly.”
The group further urged them to ensure that they safeguard democracy for the future generation so that their children would benefit from it too.