As Nigeria is heading the 2023 anticipated general election, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) is seriously worried by the reported surreptitious nominations of Card-carrying members of the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, into the decision making structure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at all levels as enabling strategy to influence the process and outcome of 2023 general elections. This was contained in the press release that was signed by Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) on Saturday.
Rafsajani cited that 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.
He further said that Some Nigerians alleged that recent unmerited promotions and strategic deployments across the country initiated within the Commission were 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” he stated further.
” TMG on this note calls 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” Rafsajani added.
He called 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.
The TMG chairman also callef 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.