The Transition Monitoring Group has condemned the nominations of party chieftains as Independent National Commission, Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs.
The Chairman, TMG, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani made this known in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja.
Rafsanjani said the TMG was 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.
He said 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.”
Rafsanjani noted that some Nigerians alleged that the 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.
“TMG on this note call 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.
“We call 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.
“We also call 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,” Rafsanjani said.