President Muhammadu Buhari has asked that the Nigerian Senate confirm his hyper-partisan media aide. the notorious Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This is obviously an apparent commitment to exploring the limits of absurdity and unfairness.
A good reason for this appointment doesn’t exist. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is already tainted in the eyes of the public following the 2019 elections and the sensible thing to do would have been to look for competent and unbiased people to serve as commissioners.
There is no definition of the word “Fair” that Lauretta Onochie is disposed to. She is as partisan as they come. Her reputation as a rabid obnoxious attack-dog of a media aide was well-earned and rewarding her with the position of INEC national commissioner just appears to come from a need to have a totally unprincipled henchman located in the electoral commission.
The first amendment of the 1999 constitution calls for the appointment of neutral and non-partisan commission members. Lauretta Onochie looks like she might have the words “APC” tattooed somewhere on her back.
The amendment of the constitution also clarified this issue by stating that persons appointed into the commission should not be members of political parties. Lauretta Onochie is a staunch APC member.
For reasons best known to President Buhari, he finds some sort of joy in making contentious appointments that show absolutely no intent on displaying even a facade of fairness. This will be part of why he’ll largely be an unpleasant memory for most Nigerians when his time as president is thankfully over.
The PDP which weirdly seems to be sleeping when these bizarre events unfold should mobilise its members in the Senate and House of Representatives to block this atrocious decision. As for Lauretta Onochie and whatever she has in mind, the waves of discontent Nigerians are now showing with the “EndSars” protests should temper any urges to tamper with the will of the Nigerian people as expressed through the electoral process.
President Muhammadu Buhari should understand that we are all just individuals who will be here today and gone tomorrow. Personal interests should not negate the need to make INEC a trusted medium for Nigeria to use in making its decisions on the nature of its leadership and direction.
Actions that further taint the reputation of INEC will only make more people consider methods that are less organized and peaceful. We have enough trouble on our hands and really shouldn’t be stirring up even more.