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Minister responds to criticism by saying Buhari won’t remove REC nominations

In response to “social media trials,” the Federal Government said on Wednesday that President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) will not revoke the names of certain candidates for Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Following the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, revealed this to the media.

He also pleaded for Nigerians to let the process play out as planned, including the National Assembly’s upcoming review of the REC candidates.

According to the MINIECHAT, Buhari sent the Senate’s confirmation of 19 INEC REC nominations on July 26.

Five of the 19 were reappointed for another five-year term, while 14 others were fresh hires.

Buhari has faced criticism from Nigerians, meanwhile, for selecting certain people who are thought to be card-carrying members of the governing All Progressives Congress.

One candidate from Enugu State is reportedly the younger sister of Emma Eneukwu, the APC Deputy National Chairman, according to a coalition of civil society organizations, while the candidate from Sokoto State in Northwestern Nigeria ran for governor in 2015.

In a similar vein, the CSOs claimed that Mrs. Pauline Ugochi, a candidate from Imo State and a former head of ICT at INEC in Imo, is well known for conspiring with politicians to sabotage elections, while Mrs. Queen Agwu, a candidate from Ebonyi State, was suspended in 2016 over claims of incompetence and corruption.

Asked about the matter on Wednesday, Mohammed said, “As to the nominations that are being challenged by social media warriors and by certain critics, I don’t believe it is the duty of the President to quickly toss out a nominee based on charges which have not been substantiated.

“In my opinion, the entire point is that these candidates for confirmation will go before the National Assembly, where the same questions that are being raised in the public sphere will be addressed.

“I believe that this media trial is rather concerning since, when these individuals are found not guilty, no one returns to offer an apology to them. Therefore, my suggestion is that although accusations may be made against anybody, it does not always follow that they are true. Waiting for the procedure to be finished

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