From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
The Senate has received from the Presidency a request for confirmation of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, a serving appointee of President Buhari and strong supporter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, for appointment as National Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
The name of Lauretta Onochie, the Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media, was last year forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as national commissioner of INEC in her home state of Delta.
The move, however, generated various reactions across the nation including members of the National Assembly, many of whom vowed to resist her confirmation for appointment on the grounds that she is too APC-focused.
Reports also added that although senators of the ruling party applauded her consistent backing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the activities of the presidency, they admitted that an INEC commissioner was the wrong appointment for her.
Onochie’s nomination has been generally condemned by opposition federal lawmakers, popular human rights lawyer Femi Falana and PDP as well as Sokoto state governor, among others.
Her nomination came under public scrutiny since Lawan announced her name. While many who condemned her inclusion in the list argued that she is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), others held that she has always been partisan in her social media posts and as such not qualify for the position in the INEC.
Governor Tambuwal on his part asked Buhari to search for a more credible and competent candidate for the position.
However, the leadership of APC hailed the presidential aide’s nomination.
Leader of the Senate Senator Abdullahi, Yahaya Abubakar (Kebbi North Senate Leader) is expected to read the request during today’s plenary for deliberation and subsequent confirmation.
Other names transmitted to the Senate for confirmation include Prof Muhammad Sani Kallah (Commissioner Katsina State), Prof Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Commissioner Ekiti State), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Commissioner Jigawa), Prof Sani Muhammad Adam (Commissioner North Central), Dr Baba Bila (Commissioner North East).