From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
The Transformation Monitoring Group, TMG, has frowned against the alleged nomination of members of the All Progressives Congress, into key positions of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In a statement, signed by its Chairman, Auwal Ibrahima Musa Rafsanjani, over the weekend, TMG described the move as capable of influencing the process and outcome of the election.
The group, while expressing displeasure on the appointment of card carrying party members as INEC Commissioners and State Resident Electoral Commissioners, noted that the constitution of the Federal Republic is clear on the composition and structure of the electoral body.
The group said “While the provisions of 1999 Constitution are clear on the compositions, and major appointments into structure of the Electoral Body, we are displeased by the apparent partisanship and favouritism reported through the nominations of the party’s card-carrying members as INEC Commissioners and State Resident Electoral Commissioners.
“Some Nigerians alleged that the recent unmerited promotions and strategic deployments across the country initiated within the Commission was to upturn votes or create inconclusive situations that will be exploited by unscrupulous politicians in forcing or rigging their way into power.
“We are more concerned by the potential impact of such a major push from the Presidency on the overall credibility, transparency and integrity of the upcoming elections in 2023. Just as we condemn in totality the appointments of card-carrying members of any political party as a controlling strategy that can compromise the competence and objectivity of INEC, under which the independence and integrity of the Commission cannot be guaranteed to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold the commitment of his administration’s fight against corruption, by withdrawing the names of party members and Chieftains nominated for key positions in the electoral body, replacing their names with people of integrity and unquestionable character.
The TMG also tasked the National Assembly to uphold democratic values and electoral integrity by rejecting the nomination of party Chieftains.
“TMG on this note call on President Muhammadu Buhari to in the spirit of his administration’s commitment to anti-corruption and transparency, withdraw all names of political party chieftains or card-carrying members contained in the nominations; and consider for immediate replacements, persons of integrity and unquestionable character, to demonstrate non-partisanship in the selections and nominations.
“We call on the National Assembly to reject confirmation of all nominated party chieftains and insist on transparency and non-partisanship in the selections, to uphold democratic value and electoral integrity, while proving respect for the sanity and sanctity of the rule of law.
“We also call on INEC to give detailed and verifiable positions of the nominated persons and rationale for their selections as well as prerequisite for the recent adjustments in the Commission’s structure and compositions at all levels,” The group said.
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