Buhari Nominates Lauretta Onochie As INEC Commissioner From Delta State, Nigerians Reject Her Nomination

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President Muhammadu Buhari today 13th of October 2020, nominated his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, for screening and confirmation as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), representing Delta State.

The Senate President @DrAhmadLawan read out a Letter From President Buhari on the Confirmation of the following nominees for Appointment as Commissioners of Independent National Electoral Commission. The nominees are Prof. Muhammad Sani – Katsina, State, Lauretta Onochie – Delta State, Kunle Cornelius Ajayi – Ekiti State and, Seidu Ahmad – Jigawa State.

President Buhari said that the nomination was in pursuant to Paragraph 14 of part 1F of the First Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

However, many Nigerians have shown their anger for her nomination and questioned why the President should consider making such a decision. Matthew T. Page, an Associate Fellow, Africa Programme at the Chatham House, and a Non-resident fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development (Abuja) opined that “Lauretta Onochie is one of the most partisan people in Nigerian public life today. Appointing a take-no-prisoners party spokesperson to serve as a guardian of Flag of Nigeria’s non-partisan electoral commission is, in my view, utterly negligent and will be incredibly damaging”.

Dr Kemi Olunloyo twitted, “Lauretta Onochie nominated as @inec commissioner for Delta by @MBuhari but still needs @NGRSenate confirmation. And She urged Nigerians to be “#BeFocused BLOCK IT! It’s an avenue to RIG #DeltaDecides2023”

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HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and Miss. Zainab Yusuf, National Media Affairs said Buhari was setting Nigeria up for a serious political crisis.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Tuesday condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to nominate his aide, Lauretta Onochie as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

HURIWA described Onochie’s nomination as a direct “murder” of INEC.

The Tweet by Matthew Page

The right group anchored its rejection on claims that Onochie was known for peddling fake news and for being a fanatic member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

According to the statement: “The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has learnt of the appointment of Special Assistant on Social Media to President Muhammadu Buhari; Lauretta Onochie, as an electoral commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission representing Delta State.

“Lauretta Onochie is known on social media for peddling fake news and pictures as some of her claims have been proven to be false including tweeting false pictures to praise the Buhari administration.

“Again, Lauretta Onochie is a fanatical member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and so by her appointment into a Commission tasked with the mandate to conduct elections in Nigeria wherein the All Progressives Congress will participate, President Buhari is setting the stage for a very huge political crisis, which is capable of derailing our democratic process.

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“One of the factors that have compromised the credibility of elections in Nigeria is said to be the lack of structural independence of INEC. This was one of the main issues taken up by the Electoral Reform Committee in 2007.

“Among the recommendations that the Committee made was the necessity for guaranteeing the independence of INEC, both through the way that the Commission is funded and through the appointment process for its members.”

See the video below when the senate president read out her nomination at the National Assembly.


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