By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress APC has asked the Senate to ignore what it described as “selective criticism” against the appointment of presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
APC in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena on Friday noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Onochie as a National Commissioner “has been subject to rash, subjective, misplaced and selective criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some interest groups”.
APC said, “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”, the ruling party stated.
The statement further urged “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.
“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 equally invite the PDP to query the ‘unquestionable integrity’ of brazen PDP apologists such as 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.
“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”.