By: Rancy S. Teewia
As debate surrounding the nomination of a naturalized Liberian for the Chairmanship of the National Election Commission (NEC) heightens, another lawmaker has kicked against the confirmation of Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike, a naturalized Liberian and natural-born Nigerian, to the NEC as chairman.
The first legislator on record on the social media opposing the nomination is the Liberty Party’s Political Leader, Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, who said the nomination of Nwabudike is not within the spirit of a proposition the President earlier presented to the National Legislature requested change in the constitution regarding nationality.
The Senator who explained the detail of the proposition which has already been approved pending National referendum out rightly declared on the social media that the naturalized Liberian who is also a natural born Nigeria will not preside over the National Elections Commission.
Sinoe County District #2 Representative, Mr. Jay Nagbe Sloh, of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is the second lawmaker to opposed Nwabudike’s nomination to chair the NEC.
Sloh openly rebuked the nomination and said Liberians cannot entrust their national electoral governing body with one who possesses dual loyalties, adding that trust of loyalty factor looms when a personality with dual loyalties to two different countries become head of the electoral governing body of one of the countries.
Representative Sloh made the assertions Wednesday, March 25, 2020, when he appeared on the Truth Breakfast Show in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The Sinoe County District #2 lawmaker therefore called on the Liberian Senate to reject President George Weah’s nominee for the chairmanship of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Nwabudike on the basis of his divided loyalty to both Liberia, his naturalized home, and Nigeria – his home of nativity.
Rep. Sloh said he, along with several lawmakers at the House of Representatives, have already prepared and signed a communication to be sent to the House of Senate for the rejection of Cllr. Nwabudike.
“Several lawmakers and I have prepared a letter that we will send to the House of Senate to reject Cllr. Nwabudike, and the Senate will do that because we realized that the Senate has developed teeth to bite these days,” he asserted.
Representative Sloh said the Senate did it before when they rejected Cllr. Charles Gibson for the Ministry of Justice, Mr. David Tarplah otherwise referred to as Zoely-Zoe nominated as deputy Minister for National Defense and others.
“We believe that they will seek the interest of the country to reject Nwabudike because we cannot trust him with our national elections commission which is the institution responsible to guide sensitive processes like elections.
He reasoned that election, when not manage properly, is an instrument for confusion especially when the man or woman guiding the process display conducts that renders that process controversially chaotic.
The question of Nwabudike’s impeccability does not hold in this debate, since election is not about a ‘trial and error’ process, but a sensitive process that requires due diligence when it comes to who is or should chair that body.
Consequently, the CDC lawmaker said in as much as his academic credential may be outstanding, simple logic cannot allow this naturalized Liberian of Nigerian nativity to Chairman the National Elections Commission. Emphasizing that election sometimes causes chaos and leave wounds in the nation, Sloh stressed “… we don’t want him because the people who voted our party are not satisfy.” Rep. Sloh indicated.
The CDC Lawmaker who provided historical background of the 1985 election during the administration of Samuel K. Doe which with a result that later degenerated the prolonged civil crisis, called on President George Weah to follow the proclamation made during his inauguration that Liberians will not be spectators in their own country.
Based upon this pronouncement at his inauguration, President Weah should select someone from the 14 out of the 15 counties that voted him to power as National Election Commission Chairperson instead of Liberian-Nigerian; or President Weah may nominate a Liberian Lawyer from the Liberia National Bar Association (NBA) to succeed Cllr. Jerome G. Kokoyah at the National Election Commission.
“Am not opposing the President, he issued a disclaimer, saying “I am rather sounding a whistle; I love President Weah and I don’t want him to follow the people that are around him who allow him to make decision that will make him unpopular.”
He also urged President George Manneh Weah to carry on proper vetting process before nominating any official in order to avoid counting nominees he presented to the Senate that are rejected.