PDP Rejects Gumus Appointment as INEC Commissioner

The main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has opposed the confirmation of an alleged card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, as a national commissioner (South-South) of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The party communicated this Monday in a statement signed by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, and described the development as a coup against democracy.

The party noted that the confirmation of Prof. Gumus is “an open invitation to the serious political crisis that can derail our hard-earned democracy and lead to the breakdown of law and order if not immediately reversed.”

The PDP noted that “in confirming Prof. Gumus, the APC-led Senate leadership has exposed itself as anti-people and completely insensitive to the aspiration of Nigerians for credible and transparent elections in 2023.”

Parts of the statement read: “The action of the APC-led Senate is highly provocative and incendiary because it violates Paragraph 14 (2)(a) of the 3rd Schedule to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which provides that “a member of the commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity”.

“Such violent assault on the constitution and our electoral process by the APC cannot be allowed to stand.

“The media space is awash with reports of Prof. Gumus as a member of the APC in Bayelsa State with APC Registration Form No: BAY/YEN/08/58315 and reportedly as number 27 in her APC Ward Register.

“In nominating and confirming an APC card-carrying member into INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led Senate leadership have recklessly violated the provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which they swore to uphold and defend.

“This action is designed to corrupt and compromise the electoral commission and pave the way for the APC to rig the 2023 general elections.

“Nigerians can recall how President Buhari had earlier sought to impose his aide and card-carrying member of the APC, Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner but was stiffly resisted by Nigerians.

“The APC which thrives in impunity has again nominated and confirmed Prof. Gumus, another APC card-carrying member as national commissioner in INEC in flagrant violation of the Constitution and total disregard for the Nigerian people.

“Prof. Gumus must not be allowed to be used to pollute INEC. Her mission is already exposed, and our Party is ready to mobilize our members and all patriotic Nigerians across the country by taking legitimate actions to protect the integrity of the electoral body.

“Our party, therefore, issues a stern caution to Prof. Gumus to, in the interest of peace, steer clear of INEC as there is no way she can function in that office as a card-carrying member of the APC.”

The PDP stated further that democracy is about the transparency of elections and stressed that “Nigerians cannot believe in the integrity of the process with Prof. Gumus in INEC. Her entry and continuing stay in INEC will be toxic and taint the commission with bias and manipulations ahead of the 2023 elections since her appointment and confirmation is unconstitutional.”

The party called on President Buhari to immediately revoke Prof. Gumus’s appointment and also lauded the efforts of civil society organizations in ensuring electoral sanity ahead of the 2023 general election.

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