The Peoples Democratic Party PDP has kicked against President Buhari’s nomination of Lauretta Onochie, his personal assistant on social media, as the INEC Commissioner for Delta state.
Recall that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, October 13, read a letter from President Buhari, asking for the house to confirm Onochie as INEC commissioner for Delta state.
In a statement released by its publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described Ms. Onochie’s appointment as a ‘‘highly provocative assault on our national constitution and democratic process’’.
Read the statement below
''The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his Special Assistant on social media, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a highly provocative assault on our nation’s constitution and democratic process.
Indeed, from Mr. President’s public promises, one would have thought that he was desirous of leaving a legacy of credible elections, having failed in all ramifications of governance
However, this nomination of his personal staff, Lauretta Onchie, as INEC national commissioner, supports the position of the PDP that his statements were mere glib talks on electoral sanctity and clearly demonstrates that he has no plans whatsoever to leave a legacy of credible polls.
This ugly development is another shameful attempt to plant unscrupulous elements in INEC in order to corrupt and further desecrate the sanctity of the commission, undermine our electoral system and destabilize our democratic process ahead of the 2023 general elections.
We had hoped that, as Mr. President had professed in the past, he is truly running his second and final term in office. If that were so, then Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC national commissioner clearly points to a totally different direction.
Indeed, her nomination dresses up Mr. President as having more than an interest in legacy building and portrays him as one who has a personal candidature interest in the 2023 election. The only way to prove otherwise is to quickly withdraw Onochie’s nomination before the Senate.
Moreover, being a card-carrying member of the APC as records shows (from Ward 5 Onicha Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state), Onochie’s nomination is in clear violation of paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC.
It is therefore surprising that having sworn to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. President is taking actions that are antithetical to the very constitution and democratic governance.
These actions are deliberate attempts by President Buhari to inflame social tensions, undermine our constitution and desecrate the sanctity of our electoral process, rather than finding solutions to the myriads of problems pervading our country.
On a final note, the PDP, standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians, will deploy every legitimate means possible in a democracy to stop the approval of this provocative nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC national commissioner.’’