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IPAC Demands Withdrawal of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has demanded an immediate withdrawal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie nomination as a Commissioner of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

A statement signed by it’s National Chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa described the president’s nomination as “outrageous”, and a violation of the Third Schedule, Part 1, paragraph 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ( as amended) which provides that a member of the Commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity and shall not be a member of any political party.

“It is inconceivable that Mr President would nominate his personal staff and a card-carrying member of the ruling APC to serve as a National Commissioner of INEC at a time Nigerians are clamouring for electoral reform, free, fair, credible, transparent elections and sanctity of the ballot box, ” the statement read. 

“It is unacceptable, unpatriotic and attack on the nation’s emerging democracy that can trigger a mass action against the Federal Government when the country is currently facing unprecedented protests against Police brutality and demand for Police reform, ” it added. 

The umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria described how Onochie has been overzealous and reckless in carrying out her duties as President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media. 

It added that the presidential aid has been found “confronting and attacking with impunity anybody who disagrees with her principal”

“Mr President might wish to reward her loyal as his attack dog, definitely not with a sensitive, non-partisan position of National Commissioner of INEC. The Commission is the bedrock of the nation’s political process”

IPAC called on the Senate to disqualify Onochie’s nomination as it might pose a threat to Nigeria’s democracy, adding that “to do otherwise is to court disaster, and will also show that President Buhari has a hidden agenda to subvert the will, wish and mandate of the people in the crucial 2023 general election”

It further assured that it will at all times resist anti-democratic forces that impede Nigeria’s political process, and “will remain a vibrant gatekeeper in our collective efforts in building a strong, virile, progressive, prosperous, equitable and just democratic nation” 

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