Sunday, July 18, 2021

Politicization of INEC is 4th Republic's Original Sin

By Farooq Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

First posted on Facebook and Twitter on July 15, 2021

As we talk of the appointment of APC partisans as INEC commissioners, with Lauretta Onochie as an extreme example, this March 2002 cover story I wrote for the Weekly Trust reminds us that the politicization of INEC is an original sin of Nigeria's Fourth Republic.

When the PDP was in power, it also appointed card-carrying party members as electoral arbiters. Of course, none was as rabidly partisan as Onochie is, and Goodluck Jonathan's appointment of non-partisan Professor Attahiru Jega as INEC chairman sort of compensated for the party's previous mistakes.

But the late American muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens is famous for saying, “Power is what men seek, and any group that gets it will abuse it. It is the same story.” This is so true of Nigeria.