The administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has said it will not withdraw the names of some nominees sent to the National Assembly to be confirmed as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This came as the administration faced heavy criticism for nominating some persons alleged to be “card-carrying members” of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Buhari had on July 26 forwarded the names of 19 nominees as REC into the nation’s electoral body to the National Assembly for confirmation.
Out of the nineteen nominees, 5 of them were reappointed while 14 others were new appointees.
But on Wednesday, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said that the regime cannot immediately throw out the names of any nominees based on allegations flying in the media space.
“As to the nominees that are being challenged by social media warriors and by some critics, I don’t think it is the business of the President to immediately throw out a nominee based on allegations which have not been proven,” the Minister told reporters after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Mr Mohammed, after touting those challenging the integrity of the nominees as “social media warriors”, argued that those already nominated by Buhari’s regime would still be drilled by the members of the National Assembly.
“I think the whole idea is that these people will go for confirmation in the National Assembly; the same questions that are being raised in the public domain will be asked there,” he added.
While urging the people to wait till the nominees face the parliamentarians, the minister asked the critics to allow the process takes its course rather than embarking on a media trial.
“I think this media trial is quite worrisome because when these people are cleared of any wrongdoing, nobody comes back to apologise to them.
“So, my advice is that there will be allegations made against anyone but it does not mean that that fellow is guilty. Let’s wait for the process to be completed.”
Some members of the civil society organisations have repeatedly kicked against the names of some nominees as REC into INEC.
The group had alleged that for instance, a nominee from Ebonyi, Queen Agwu, was suspended by the commission in 2016 over allegations of incompetence while another nominee from Enugu was alleged to be the younger sister of the APC Deputy National Chairman, Emma Eneukwu.
Source: People’s Gazette