AS debate continues over the controversial nomination of Lauretta Onochie, the Special Assistant to Nigerian President on Social Media as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), The ICIR shares posts where she demonstrated partisanship and her affiliation for All Progressives Congress (APC).
Before the emergence of Buhari as Nigerian President in 2015, Onochie has been a regular campaigner and supporter of the APC and the President.
On January 13th, 2015, Onochie tweeted: “issues in Nigeria. hope is here. vote Buhari/Osinbajo. vote APC. improved infrastructure, reduce poverty, equip school.”
Two days later, she dissociated herself from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while campaigning for Buhari to emerge as president.
In a response to the tweet, she added that she has spent many years campaigning for an opposition party against the PDP.
“We’re not pleased that the elections were postponed, but no matter how long we have to wait, we will still vote Buhari, Atiku had hoped that his agony would end yesterday. Now there’s still one more week of excruciating pain for him and PDP before they go into oblivion. #SaiBaba,” Onochie posted.
On the same day, she also tweeted that, “There is nothing that has a beginning that has no end including PDP. The end of PDP is here. But more important (sic), change is here. Vote Buhari.”
On June 6th, 2018, while campaigning for Buhari’s second term, Onochie declared on her verified Twitter profile that she is a ‘Buharist’.
In Nigeria, the term ‘Buharist’ is used to qualify an ardent supporter of Muhammad Buhari or his political ideology.
“For once, since 2010, I’m speechless. I feel like My vote on June 12, 1993, has just been validated. If I wasn’t already a Buharist, I would become one today. What is there not to like about President Buhari and his commitment to do what’s right. Our MKO can now rest peacefully,” Onochie posted.
In multiple tweets, Onochie also campaigned for the re-election of Buhari seeking Nigerians to vote for the president and the party.
Apart from her tweets campaigning for the APC and Buhari, Onochie on June 24, 2020 declared that she belongs to APC.
Onochie said this while the APC was facing an internal crisis before the intervention of Buhari. “There is definitely an APC e-NEC meeting tomorrow. We are going through a growth process. Thank you, everyone,” she posted with the APC flag.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, the word ‘we’ is a pronoun ‘used as the subject of a verb to refer to a group including the speaker and at least one other person’.
Though the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, clearly stated that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission “shall be non-partisan,” the president nominated a loyal party member to be a member of the election umpire.