APC asks INEC to confirm Lauretta Onochie

•Accuses PDP of selective criticism

The All Progressives Congress has pleaded with the Senate to proceed with confirmation of the embattled Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The announcement of President Muhammadu Buhari Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie along with three others as National Commissioners of INEC by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan sequel to a letter from the Presidency read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday has since courted public anger.

Onochie was announced as a nominee to represent Delta State, while Profesor Mohammed Sani, Professor Kunle Ajayi and Seidu Ahmed, will represent Katsina, Ekiti and Jigawa states, respectively.

The APC in a statement made available on Friday and signed by its deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena said “President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been subjected (sic) to rash, subjective, misplaced and selective criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some interest groups.”

It accused the main opposition party of selective criticisms. The APC demanded holistic criticisms of nominees to INEC as it alleged that

Dr. Johnson Alalibo, the current Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). Alalibo was a card-carrying member of PDP.

“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 professional amount to partisanship.”

It further claimed that the current Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stewardship as the immediate-past Executive Secretary of the government’s Tertiary Education Trust was tainted with partisanship.

“Since public service now equates ‘partisanship’ we invite the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to equally fault 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.”

“We challenge 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.”

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