… urges Senate to ignore criticisms
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday equated the appointment of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, to that of the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to APC, Okoye and Igini are apologists of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued yesterday by APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary in Abuja, Yekini Nabena, the party called on the Senate not to listen to the criticisms of the PDP and others against the appointment of Onochie.
The party said Onochie’s appointments would not be the first time a partisan person was appointed into INEC, as it cited the Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Johnson Alalibo. According to APC, Alalibo served as Deputy Chief Whip in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly before he was appointed as REC in the INEC. Recall that the appointment of Onochie as a National Commissioner of INEC is one that has attracted much criticisms, with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) calling on the Senate to reject her appointment.
In the statement, 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 REC.