THE leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, a Presidential aide, as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Christain umbrella body described Onochie’s nomination for the INEC position by President Muhammadu Buhari as an executive recklessness, a dirty slap on the populace, and a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution.
Samson Ayokunle, CAN President stated in a statement on Thursday that Nigerians were happy when President Buhari said he wanted to leave a legacy of the free, fair, and credible election behind not knowing he was deceiving the citizens.
Ayokunle added that the nomination of his personal aide to such a sensitive position has revealed the type of electoral legacy the President is working on.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari said he wanted to leave a legacy of free, fair and credible election behind, all right-thinking Nigerians were happy and CAN have been praying for God to grant him the grace to do so. But the nomination of his personal aide to such a sensitive position may have revealed the type of electoral legacy the President is working on,” the CAN president said.
He called on the Senate to reject the nomination, stating that Onochie’s nomination clearly violated Section 156 (1) (a) of the 1999 constitution.
“According to Section 156 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) Act No 1, 2010, a member of the INEC “shall not be a member of a political party.” Whereas Onochie is reportedly said to be a card-carrying member of the ruling party, that disqualifies her from being nominated and appointed to serve in INEC,” he said.
The CAN President also stated that Onochie lacks objectivity, justice, and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party.
“As far as CAN is concerned, Onochie suffers objectivity, justice and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party,” Ayokunle said.
“We are equally opposed to her nomination because of her unguarded remarks, public insults on credible individuals and the use of vulgar language and unprintable words against people who express their displeasure to some actions and policies of the government of the day, especially, her principal.”
He noted that the association and her leadership had been a victim of her unguarded statements since her appointment as the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media.
“A person like her by her utterances does not have the character to occupy a position of unbiased umpire in national elections in Nigeria,” he said.
He called on Senate to do a thorough investigation of the other three nominees to ensure that they are truly qualified and competent for the appointment and that they do not belong to any political party.