On February 7, 2022, Seun Kuti, the son of Nigeria’s late famous singer, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, called a major contender in Nigeria’s February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi, an opportunist who cannot save Nigeria.
During an interview with Mic On podcast, an online platform hosted by Channels TV, Kuti, a famous musician himself, also said the candidate of the opposition Labour Party is only popular on social media.
On Wednesday, February 8, on Twitter, Mic On Podcast posted the video in which Kuti insulted Obi. A few hours after the post, the Independent National Electoral Commission or INEC, Nigeria’s electoral umpired, liked the tweet via its verified Twitter handle.
This sparked condemnation from Nigerians who accused the Commission of Bias.
On Thursday, February 9, Peter Obi’s campaign media group also accused the body of not being neutral and requested that INEC explain its behaviour.
“Obi-Datti Media takes serious exception to INEC liking a post by a partisan person who has chosen a candidate to support. We expect the Commission to explain to the concerned public who are looking up to them to be above board why they had to show such a level of obvious bias,” it said.
“…Even if somebody in the Commission’s office wants to be biased, the law has denied them that because of the moral standards being expected of them. We expect INEC to come clean on this issue as it’s capable of eroding public confidence in the Commission to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election.”
INEC promises investigation
In a swift response posted to Twitter, INEC promised to investigate the behaviour.
“The Commission is an independent electoral body and does not have preference for any candidate or political party. The Commission assures all Nigerians of its neutrality and will conduct a general election that is free and fair to all,” it wrote.
“In the meantime, the Commission is investigating the circumstances that led to the liking of the said post and will take appropriate disciplinary actions if an infraction is established.”