15 October 2020 By Georgina Humphrey
The United Patriots, UP, has called on the Federal Government to strengthen the Nation’s democratic institutions by eliminating partial and partisan Officers who have the tendency to erode the credibility, integrity and sanctity of the electoral process.
A statement signed by the National Chairman of the party, Chukwudi Ezeobika says officers who appear partisan, cannot be expected to be independent, neutral and impartial to effectively discharge part of the enormous functions of such an office.
According to the statement, the party frowns over the recent nomination of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, for screening and confirmation as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adding that her true independence, neutrality and impartiality is questionable
We remain of the strong view that there are reputable Nigerians of unimpeachable, unquestionable and revered character who, not only have the right qualifications to constitute a formidable Commission, but who have through the years, proven to be non partisan, impartial and neutral in the Nation’s political affairs.”
It explains that the primary purpose of the establishment of INEC was to conduct free, fair and credible elections and the appointment of persons with this sensitive responsibility must be carefully considered in order not to further erode the already battered confidence of Nigerians in the electoral body.
It calls on the Senate to be mindful of the sensibilities of millions of Nigerians and decline the requested confirmation of nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as such appears to the Party to be a person who is partisan, biased and partial.
It states that the current pulse of the Nation forbids any form of missteps by the National Assembly which may lead to break down of Law and Order in the Country and unnecessarily heighten tension in the polity.
The statement stresses that the United Patriots remains committed to ensuring that millions of Nigerians have free and unhindered access to the Nation’s electoral systems and processes.
“We remain committed to ensuring the attainment of credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria through the pursuit of unbiased and impartial Chairman and National Commissioners of INEC who play a cardinal role in the transition and change of democratic governments in Nigeria.