Despite Rowdy Session, Senate Confirms Zamfara REC Nominee, 3 Others
Senate, yesterday approved the nomination of four Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amidst rowdy session during consideration of report by Senate Committee. Specifically, there was commotion as lawmakers exchanged bickers following the rejection of one of the nominees, Ahmed Bello Mahmud from Zamfara State. The chairman Senate committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif (APC Bauchi North) presented the report during plenary, yesterday. There was trouble when Senator Nazif, while presenting the report recommended only the confirmation of three nominees namely: Elder Monday Udo Tom (Akwa Ibom); Attahiru Garba Madami (Niger) and Barrister Festus Okoye (Imo) states respectively, excluding the Zamfara nominee. Tom and Okoye were nominated for fresh appointments while Madami was a replacement. This is the third time Ahmed Bello Mahmud would be rejected by the Senate. It is said that the nominee is tipped by President Muhammadu Buhari, against the wish of the Zamfara people and that he(the nominee) is not originally from Zamfara. Quickly, Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central) rose in defence of the nominee and however condemned the rejection. He further accused the committee chairman, Senator Nazif of compromise and said there are proofs that there were underhand dealings that propelled the rejection of Mahmud. According to Marafa, Governor Abdulaziz Yari is claiming the REC nominee is not from Zamfara while his (Yari’s) Chief of Staff is from Ogbomosho in Oyo State, as well as the state’s Head of Service who hails from Sokoto. In his contribution, Senator James Manager (PDP Delta South) said the committee did not receive any formal petition against the Zamfara State nominee let alone carry out any investigation on such action. Consequently, the matter was referred to committee of the whole by the senate president, Bukola Saraki and the senators jettisoned the recommendation of the INEC committee and further confirmed Mahmud among others as RECs.