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Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

Senate reverses rejection of Zamfara REC nominee, Mahmud

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•As Marafa blasts gov Yari for working against Buhari’s nomination.

By Christiana Ekpa

Senate yesterday reversed its earlier decision and approved the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud who was rejected as nominee for Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from Zamfara State.
Recall that Senate had earlier confirmed the nomination of Rufus Akeju representing Lagos state and Mahmuda Isa representing Kebbi state as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners, but rejected Ahmed Bello Mahmud from Zamfara state, on issues of being non-indegene of the state.
Chairman of the Senate committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North) had presented the nominees while presenting report on their screening for confirmation of appointment as REC.
Senator Tijjani Kaura (Zamfara North) had alleged that the rejected nominee, Mahmud is originally not from Zamfara state but from the neighbouring Kebbi State and, therefore, not qualified for confirmation by Senate.
However, the decision of the Senate to reconsider the rejected nominee, Mahmud, followed a motion by Senator Kabir Garba Marafa (Zamfara Central) yesterday.
Marafa alleged that Zamfara State Governor Abdul-aziz Yari was behind the rejection of the nominee, because he (Yari) had written to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw nomination, on the allegation that the nominee has no historical lineage with Zamfara he has been slated to represent.
He averred that the nominee was born in Gusau, and had his primary and secondary education in Gusau and Anka LGAs of the state, and was also a one-time Attorney General and commissioner of justice of the state, saying allegation that the nominee is from Kebbi is therefore false.
He cited series of examples of Nigerians from different states whose parents were not from Lagos States and yet held very important political positions on the platform of the state, appointive or elective, without any opposition whatsoever from Lagosians.
“This is in line with constitutional provisions which says any Nigerian who has lived in an area for ten years can be appointed in any capacity to serve his area of domicile.
“Mr President is right on his nomination of Mahmud for REC position in Zamfara State, and is highly qualified for it,” he said.
Marafa disclosed that the earlier rejection of the nominee by the Senate, was based on a letter written to that effect by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State to President Muhammadu Buhari, copies Of which were forwarded to the Senate.
The letter to President Buhari, personally signed by Governor Yari, was exclusively obtained by Peoples Daily.
The letter alleged that the nominee is not from Zamfara, hence the need to reject him.
The letter stated: “Mr. President, in consideration of the act establishing the federal character commission that provides for equal representation by states in appointment of this nature, Barr Bello Mahmud is only fit to represent Sokoto State, but not Zamfara. Accordingly, I wish to recommend Alhaji Sani Garba Gusau, a bonifide indigene of Zamfara State for the appointment as Resident Electoral Comissional.”
Senator Marafa accused the governor of being hypocritical for rejecting the President’s nominee, since there are other Nigerians who are not from Zamfara State serving in various capacities in the state, in line with the laws of the land .
“As a Senator from Zamfara State, and one from the senatorial district the nominee comes from in the state, the governor was supposed to consult me before writing such letter of rejection, let alone lobbying the Senate through the committee to do so.
“He has no doubt declared war against me by his action; and I am very much ready for him. Thank God I have succeeded in making my fellow senators to have a rethink over the matter today, the same way I will make them block the Governor’s move for approval of foreign loan very soon,” he said.

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