17 October, 2020
Jide ORINTUNSIN, Abuja
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday asked the Senate to ignore the opposition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie for appointment as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).
The party said similar opposition by some other groups to the appointment should be jettisoned and the Senate should proceed to confirm the nomination.
The APC dismissed the criticism as subjective and selective and should be thrown out by the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, accused the PDP of closing its eyes in the past to the appointment of some people with sympathy for the opposition party.
Nabena said: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been subject to rash, subjective, misplaced and selective criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some interest groups.
“Perhaps the PDP needs to be reminded that one of its card-carrying members, Dr. Johnson Alalibo, is the current Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). Alalibo, who was also a former Deputy Whip in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, has been an electoral asset to the PDP, but that is an issue to be addressed another day.
“We urge the patriotic 9th Senate to stick with the facts and issues by ignoring the PDP’s grandstanding, cheap blackmail, baseless and subjective allegations of partisanship it is sponsoring against Ms Onochie. For the PDP, Ms Onochie’s capacity and effectiveness as a public servant and senior social media profesional amounts to partisanship.
“Since public service now equates ‘partisanship,’ we invite the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to equally fault the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the current INEC Chairman, who was the immediate-past Executive Secretary of the government’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) as well as the earlier stated Dr. Johnson Alalibo.”
The APC claimed that Mr.Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC; Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom State, among others,are also PDP apologists.
The ruling party then challenged the PDP to point to any of its defunct 16-year administrations that defended and guaranteed the executive arm of government’s non-interference in INEC’s operation and the true independence of the electoral commission as President Buhari’s government has done.
President Muhammadu Buhari had Monday forwarded for Senate approval, the nomination of Ms. Onochie as a National Commissioner in INEC. Her nomination has been a subject of criticism by the opposition parties, civil societies and pressure groups.
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