IPAC threatens action over moves to confirm Onochie as INEC Commissioner

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has threatened unfriendly actions against the Federal Government and the National Assembly if they go ahead to confirm the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, as National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

IPAC said the Onochie is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hence her nomination is a violation of the sections of the 1999 Constitution and the rules of engagement.

It, thus advised the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to withdraw the nomination of Onochie as INEC National Commissioner and replace her with someone else who has no political attachment. Also, IPAC asked the Senate not to confirm the nominee in line with public demands.

IPAC National Chairman, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, who addressed journalists in Abuja, on Thursday, said the party leaders have resolved to withdraw their support and cooperation hitherto being given freely to INEC in all its electoral activities.

He said: “We have enjoyed good working relationships with INEC over the years, and that had contributed to the successes recorded over the time. But with Onochie as a National Commissioner, we might reconsider our stand with INEC because her being there could affect the credibility of the electoral system.

“It will significantly undermine the independence and neutrality of INEC. It will also set a very bad and unhealthy precedent in the country, hence our call on the National Assembly to ensure that they yield to demands of Nigerians not clear her.”

Meanwhile, IPAC said it’s alarmed by the spate of banditry in the North West which assumed grave proportion after the 2015 general election.” “What started in Kaduna axis as communal clashes later engulfed the entire state and spread to other states in the zone, particularly Zamfara, Katsina and Kebbi.

“Equally, the North East, North Central, South East, South- South and South West, are all at the mercy of terrorists, insurgents, bandits, militants, kidnappers, killer herdsmen, and other criminal elements in the society who daily have made life unbearable for us all.

“Undoubtedly, this has become lucrative business by unscrupulous elements in the society who now connive with bandits to carry out heinous crimes against innocent and law-abiding Nigerians as they are paid billions of Naira as ransoms.

“More worrisome is the South East, which hitherto was relatively peaceful, but has been engulfed by security challenges in deliberate attempt to destabilize the region and make it ungovernable. Obviously, ubiquitous unknown gunmen, armed robbers and arsonists are holding the region to its jugular.”

The Council also appeal to government to reconsider its action on Twitter in Nigeria, and reach a truce with the social media company for the sake of Nigerian that use the medium for their legitimate businesses, with clear warning and agreement not allow its handle to be used for hate speeches or incitement that is detrimental to the Nigerian State.

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