By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend took a swipe at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its criticisms against the appointment of Loretta Onochie, who is a member of APC, as a national Commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued by party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yakini Nabena, APC said the Senate should ignore the antics of the PDP, calling their criticisms a double standard, since they have their apologists as members of the Commission.
In the statement, APC 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 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.
“We urge 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 profesional amounts to partisanship.”
The party said since public service now equates ‘partisanship’, PDP should also equally fault the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the current INEC Chairman, because he was the immediate-past Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
“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”, APC said in the statement.