The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Lauretta Onochie as an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner.
Onochie is Buhari’s Special Assistant on social media. APC explained that her appointment has been subject to rash, subjective, misplaced and selective criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and interest groups.
On Friday, Yekini Nabena, in a statement said 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).”
He said 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.
APC urged the 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.”
The party stated that for the PDP, Onochie’s capacity and effectiveness as a public servant and senior social media professional amounts 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.
The party dared the PDP to point to how it defended and guaranteed the executive arm of government’s non-interference in INEC’s operation.