Civil Society Organisations on Wednesday criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to properly reconstitute the board of the Independent National Electoral Commission, 16 months after taking over as Nigeria’s number one citizen.
Speaking during a national town hall meeting organised by the ActionAid Nigeria in Abuja to present a post-election report of the 2015 general elections, the groups argued that the President’s refusal to reconstitute a board for INEC was a clear indication that the 2019 elections might not take place.
Prominent among speakers at the town hall meeting was the immediate past Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, who stated that the 2019 elections might be jeopardised if Buhari continued to ignore calls for a proper INEC board.
This, according to him, is based on the attitude of the present administration towards the matters of appointing credible people to fill the 28 vacant positions in the INEC board.
“INEC is having a challenge. By next month, INEC will be having 28 vacancies and the way we are carrying on there may not be elections in 2019,” Odinkalu said.
He chided INEC for its infamous status of managing unprecedented inconclusive elections in the history of Nigeria’s democratic journey.
The former NHRC boss also decried what he described as the de-legitimisation of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government.
According to him, the executive arm of government has no business interfering with the functions of the National Assembly, in the guise of looking for people who allegedly padded the 2016 national budget.