PDP alleges APC promoting violations over Onochie’s appointment
Stakeholders urge political parties to explore options
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to justify the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirms that the APC is the brain behind the series of constitutional violations, abuse of human rights and impunity bedeviling the nation in the last five years.
The PDP said “such provocative, arrogant and disdainful display of impunity by the APC and its administration, particularly in the violation of rules and crass abuse of apparatus of power, like the police, is responsible for the growing tension, remonstration and social restiveness currently threatening our national cohesion.”
The opposition party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, noted that “Nigerians were shocked that the APC deployed an impostor, as spokesperson, to issue a statement to justify the brazen violation of paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC.”
The party stated that after a critical analysis of the statement and other offensive comments by the APC in support of constitutional violations and abuse of rights, no one is left in doubt that the APC, as a party, is bent on triggering crisis and destroying the unity of the nation.
MEANWHILE, stakeholders have urged political parties with representatives in the National Assembly to stonewall the nomination of Onochie as a commissioner in INEC and consider legal action.
This is just as the APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, could not respond to inquiries from The Guardian whether Onochie’s nomination received any input from the party.
Also, while many stakeholders denied that there was any precedent that supports President Buhari’s nomination of Onochie, who is not only his aide, but also a card-carrying member of a political party, the governing APC has singled out the major opposition PDP for denigration.
A civil rights advocate, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, who is also the convener of Movers for Voice of Democracy (MOVERS), said that opposition lawmakers should borrow a leaf from the confirmation hearing in the United States (U.S.), regretting that the absence of vibrant political parties is part of the threats to Nigeria’s democracy.
Similarly, a legal practitioner, Mr. Olusegun Bamgbose, while describing Buhari’s action as very unfortunate, stressed that some political leaders had lost touch with the ideals of democracy and good governance.
He declared his preparedness to take up the judicial option proposed by Okonkwo, saying: “The Constitution is unambiguous as to the calibre of people to be nominated as INEC commissioner.”