…says action threatens Nigeria’s electoral system

By Gabriel Ewepu

A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigerians, CN, Friday, condemned Senate’s confirmation of Prof Rhoda Gumus as National Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner.

The reaction was contained in a statement signed by Convener, CN, Deji Adeyanju, where it described the confirmation of Gumus as shock and great disappointment.

The statement reads in part, “We have received with shock and great disappointment, the confirmation of Prof. H. Gumus, a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a National Electoral Commissioner, by the Nigerian Senate.

“A few weeks ago, we wrote a letter to the President of the Nigerian Senate, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, urging him, in the interest of democracy, to resist the attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a card carrying member of the All Progressive Congress, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, as a National Electoral Commissioner. In that letter, we itemised the dangers associated with such an action.

“However, in a clear case of partisanship over national interest, the Nigerian Senate has proceeded to confirm her nomination.

“We out-rightly condemn this confirmation and state that it has set our electoral system 23 years back.

“We are alarmed that every step taken by the Nigerian president and the Nigeria National Assembly, suggest in clear terms, that there is no intention to conduct a free and fair election in the year 2023.

“It is shameful and embarrassing that the Nigerian Senate, whose duty, amongst others, is to protect the Constitution, has chosen the inglorious path of violating the Constitution. Even under the military rule, the military rulers had respect for their own laws.”

The statement also alleged that, “The present crop of lawmakers have demonstrated beyond argument that they have learnt nothing from the incidents that led to the collapse of previous democratic governments in Nigeria even as coups are happening all around us in West Africa. We hope that this lesson will not be learnt when it is too late.”

However, the group warned that danger lies ahead if the “political actors continue to resist an attempt to enshrine a transparent electoral system in Nigeria.

“The nation’s democratic institutions rest on a transparent electoral process. We must, therefore, refrain from such actions, like the confirmation of Prof. Gumus, that threatens our electoral system.”

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