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Oshiomhole tasks Jonathan on INEC chair

BENIN—Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has urged the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to appoint a Nigerian who has a real commitment to the sustenance of the nation’s democracy as the next chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Speaking during an interview in Benin City, Governor Oshiomhole said just filling the post is not enough, arguing that those who did not invest in the growth of the nation’s democracy will not have any interest in its survival.

He said: “You have to commend the Acting President on what he has done. All the struggles, demands and so on, for the removal of Iwu. We just woke up and discovered that the Acting President had obliged Nigerians. I think he should be applauded for demonstrating that he listens and hears.

“Having done that, the next thing is filling the vacancy, not only of Iwu, because this issue has become more of a systemic failure. Just putting another person, I don’t think, is enough. In choosing the next person, the Acting President should look well.

With the benefit of hindsight, those who have conducted themselves in a manner that has endangered this democracy are largely those who cannot be said to have invested anything in this process. Therefore, they are like someone who didn’t know what it takes to buy a car; they found themselves on the driver’s seat and they drove the vehicle recklessly.

“I think in selecting the next INEC person, the Acting President should look at those who fought for democracy and therefore who have a stake in its survival.”

Because the attitude and character of the umpire is critical to the sustainability of this democratic process. If you bring charlatans who are ready to be in bed with all characters of government, including the worst form of dictators, they don’t care if this democracy collapses because they have no stake in it.

The Acting President needs to look at those who made the right investment in this process and therefore, who are likely to commit themselves to the sustenance of the process through “OneMan, One Vote” election. It is not about the degrees, it is about real commitment to this democracy.

“I am sure there are lots of Nigerians that are out there, who put in so much for us to get to where we are and who will ensure that the vehicle is not recklessly driven.”


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