The floor of the Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, witnessed a mild drama during the confirmation of the nomination of 3 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari, had late last year, nominated Amb (Dr.) Rufus O. Akeju (Lagos), Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara) and Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), among others, as REC representing their respective states.
The entire nomination was, however, rejected on the floor of the Senate on 28th March, 2017, as a result of the Executive-Legislature rift over the inability of the Presidency to sack Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Presenting a report on the floor on Thursday, the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif, said his committee recommended the confirmation of the nominees from Lagos and Kebbi but did not support the confirmation of Ahmad Bello Mahmud from Zamfara state.
According to him, the committee consulted widely with stakeholders from Zamfara who overwhelmingly objected to the appointment of Mr. Mahmud.
This did not go down well with Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central), who rejected the report of the Committee, saying it was “insulting”.
Marafa said, though he saw a copy of the letter from the state Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, expressing reservations over the Mahmud’s nomination; but he, as a Senator from the state was not consulted.
Another Senator from Zamfara, Tijjani Yahaya Kaura, rose in support of the committee report, insisting that Mr. Mahmud should not be confirmed as REC.
He said the nominee did not enjoy the support of the stakeholders from Zamfara and as such, should be disqualified.
The Senate, therefore, rejected Mahmud’s nomination as recommended by the committee.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, congratulated Amb (Dr.) Rufus O. Akeju and Dr. Mahmuda Isah over their confirmation as RECs.
He urged the duo to contribute their own quota to the development and improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria.