Emerging report indicates that some Senators are not about to back down in their opposition to the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Some Senators from the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are understood to have joined forces to stop the nomination of Onochie.
The Senators have also received video clips of interviews granted by Onochie, from some interest groups, as reasons to back up their opposition to her nomination.
Lobbyists are having a tough time trying to convince the Lawmakers to accept Onochie’s nomination for the South-South slot as INEC Commissioner, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
However, some Governors have stepped in to save Onochie, who they said has been doing only a Media job.
President Buhari had on October 13, nominated Onochie, and 3 others, as INEC Commissioners.
The President’s letter however generated tension in the Senate, with some PDP Senators leading the opposition to Onochie.
According to investigations, the tension generated by the nomination of Onochie, informed the “delay in referral or committal to the appropriate Committee, in the next legislative day, after Buhari’s letter was read”.
It was learnt that some APC and PDP Senators met in Abuja, on why Onochie’s nomination would not fly.
A ranking Senator in the APC, confirmed that some of his colleagues have been meeting informally on Onochie’s appointment.
He said that while the Senators would not want to confront President Buhari, they have been sending emissaries to some Principal Officers, to prevail on him to review the nomination of Onochie.
He listed the options available to the President as follows:
Leaving the Senate to determine her fate, which will lead to the rejection of the Presidential nominee.
A win-win situation, by prevailing on the Senate Leadership to advise the President to review Onochie’s nomination.
Giving the slot to another State in the South-South, instead of Delta.
Insisting on her choice by the President, will heat up the polity unnecessarily.
He said: “We have met with some of our colleagues in PDP, based on public resentment against the nomination of Onochie. Even many Civil Society Organisations do not want her.
“It is interesting that APC Senators are joining forces with PDP on this case.
“We do not want any crisis with the President, but we have resolved to prevail on our Leadership to ask the President to make a fresh nomination.
“So, there is probability that we will reject her. Most opinions do not favour her.”
A Senator from the North-West said: “Going by Section 14 (2) (a) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, ‘a member of the Commission shall be non-partisan, and a person of unquestionable integrity.
“But I as an APC Senator, know that she is positively partisan. She has been giving PDP sleepless nights.
“We cannot shy away from the truth at all. Let her remain in the office where she has been doing a good job, to protect this administration from the opposition.
“Some of us will surely oppose her nomination, despite the fact that we are in APC.”
A PDP Senator said that although the nomination of Onochie is yet to be referred to the appropriate Committee, her “fate is sealed”.
His words: “The PDP caucus will stop her at all cost. We will not walk out. We will ask the President of the Senate to subject her nomination to a vote.
“Some lobbyists have been reaching out to Senators, including myself. But in this age, we have video clips and statements portraying her as partisan.
“Although, the excuse we got was that she made those utterances in the line of duty, we have also told these lobbyists that she does not need to change her job which she is doing excellently well. Her stay in INEC will be perilous.”
More news later…