INEC Chairmanship Position: CSOs Ask Buhari To Send Nominee To Senate

A coalition of over sixty Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, working on good governance and election issues in Nigeria, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to expeditiously send to the Senate, a nominee for the substantive position of Chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The coalition under the aegis of Nigerian Situation Room, ‎in a press statement it issued in Abuja yesterday, further urged the President to also submit to the Senate, nominees for all of the existing vacant positions of National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners.

It decried that currently, there is only one National Commissioner ‎and an Acting Chair at the Commission which it said should be composed of 13 National Commissioners.

In a letter addressed to President Buhari, the Situation Room expressed fears that the vacancies in the Commission raises avoidable constitutional crisis that could affect its effectiveness, competence and credibility.

‎The Situation Room expressed deep concern that the credibility and independence of the Commission may be tainted by unnecessary controversy that may affect its activities, including the upcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

According to the statement signed by Ms. ‎Agianpe Ashang, ‎Senior Programme Officer at the ‎Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC‎, “While restating the importance of the role of INEC in Nigeria’s democratic progress, the Situation Room emphasized that it is important that the Commission fulfills is constitutional role and mandate properly and without needless distractions.

“The Situation Room therefore called on President Buhari to act urgently and uphold his responsibility, and expeditiously send to the Senate a nominee for thesubstantive position of Chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as nominees for all of the existing vacant positions of National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners, so as to enable the Commission carry out its prime institutional functions.

“The Situation Room asked the President to ensure that nominees to vacant positions in INEC must be persons with proven integrity, well placed to build on the gains of Nigeria’s recent elections”.‎

The Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria and includes such groups as PLAC, CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Enough is Enough Nigeria, Wangonet, Partners for Electoral Reform, JDPC and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), CWAE.

Others are Development Dynamics,Human Rights Monitor, Election Monitor, Reclaim Naija, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Centre LSD, CITAD, Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), CISLAC, WREP, Proactive Gender Initiative and several other CSOs numbering more than sixty.‎ (Vanguard)
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