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Oyo ex-official berates Buhari over Onochie’s nomination


[FILES] Buhari

0Former Chief of Staff to the late former Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Dr. Emmanuel Gbade Ojo, has chided President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating his former aide, Lauretta Onochie, as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ojo, an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, who spoke with The Guardian in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital said it is morally repugnant and politically inexpedient and democratically improper to appoint a card-carrying member of a political party as an umpire.


While pointing out that the impartiality and neutrality of Onochie are doubtful, he emphasised that nominating the President’s aide was a bad omen for Nigerian democracy.

Ojo said: “For INEC to be truly independent and impartial, Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) are not expected to card-carrying members of any registered political party. The moment you are a card-carrying member of a political party, it is assumed that you may have a soft spot for that party.” when you are to make critical decisions.

“Whether Onochie validated her membership or not, the fact remains that she was a known member of the party and appointee of President Buhari, not as a technocrat in a sense.


“But even if she was appointed as a technocrat as the presidential aide, she cannot bite the hands that fed her. For Onochie to be appointed as INEC commissioner is improper, morally repugnant and politically inexpedient.

“It shows that we are not serious about democratic sustenance and consolidation. It is a bad omen for our democracy. Democracy is about the rule of law. It is not about trampling on the constitution or the law. There can’t be democracy without the rule of law.”

He also described the current National Assembly as a rubber-stamp, which might be too weak to stop Onochie’s appointment.

“The truth is that this current National Assembly is a rubber-stamp Assembly and the ruling party has the majority. The President of the Senate openly admitted that they were ready to work in tandem with the Executive. The oversight functions of the National Assembly may not be discharged, as it should.

“The check and balance function is no longer there,” the Political Science lecturer said.


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