The appointment of presidential aide, Ms Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been described as an affront on democracy.
The Nigerian Senate has therefore been urged to ensure that her appointment does not see the light of the day at the screening stage.
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) in a statement signed by the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje titled: “Lauretta Onochie ineligible as INEC National Commissioner declared that her appointment “violates Section 14(2a) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended which states that, “A member of the commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity.”
“Therefore, that a card-carrying member of the ruling party, and a serving presidential appointee, who has gained widespread notoriety for her acerbic and brazen partisanship is being proposed to become a commissioner with the country’s electoral umpire, undermines INEC as a democratic institution and is an assault on the concept of democracy,” he added.
According to him, Onochie appointment which is against all known principles of democracy should be rejected by all well meaning citizens especially federal lawmakers.
The statement read in part: “It is unfathomable that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot find any other qualified, non-partisan citizen from Ms. Onochie’s state of origin to occupy the INEC seat. His worrisome insistence on her candidacy, in the face of strident opposition by all and sundry, calls to question his repeated verbal commitment, of ensuring that future elections will be an improvement on preceding ones.
We urge the National Assembly to live up to its sworn constitutional mandate as the custodian of the people’s collective aspirations, and ensure that this attempt to taint the electoral system with the appointment of a proven partisan person does not see the light of day.
There is no law that says that every nomination from the executive should be accepted. In recent times, the leadership of the Nigerian Senate has presented the image of a willing tool in the hands of the executive, to foist incompetent and unqualified people, including persons with questionable characters on Nigerians as public officers, due to scant regard for rigour in its screening.
Now is the time for it to redeem itself. It is the least that the members of the hallowed red chambers owe their constituents, to save democracy. It will redound to their honour to think and act for the country first.”