THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the rejection of Lauretta Onochie as one of the national commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a victory for Nigerians and democracy.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, said Onochie’s rejection had saved the nation from a very serious crisis and salvaged INEC and the entire Nigerian electoral process from ruinous pollution that would have led to the collapse of the country’s democratic order.
“The party asserts that Onochie’s vexatious nomination, in total affront to paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), was a very dangerous machination by the Buhari-led APC Presidency against our electoral process, in the attempt to subvert the will of the people in the 2023 elections,” part of the statement said.
“The APC, in spite of its shenanigans, is aware that it will have difficulties winning elections at any level in a free, fair and credible election and as such it is determined to rig every process ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Our party, therefore, commends Nigerians including civil society organizations, the media as well as other political parties, for joining forces with the PDP in fighting for the sanctity of our electoral process by resisting Onochie’s nomination.”
Onochie, a personal assistant to the president on social media, was nominated along with five others by President Muhammadu Buhari as national commissioners of the INEC, but many Nigerians, including civil society organisations (CSOs), insisted that the National Assembly should not confirm her due to partisanship.
However, she was unanimously rejected by the Senate on Tuesday after Kabiru Gaya presented the report of the Senate Committee on INEC during plenary.
Gaya, who is the chairman of the committee, told the lawmakers that Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character Principles.
To this effect, PDP said that the stiff resistance displayed by Nigerians across the board, “in repelling this vicious attempt to hijack and pollute the electoral commission, underscores their collective and unwavering determination to resist and kick out the APC in 2023, despite its shenanigans.”
The party urged Nigerians not to rest on their oars but to continue to fight for the country’s democracy, particularly in further resisting the attempt to alter the Electoral Act to prohibit direct electronic transmission of election results from polling units.