PDP vows to retrieve defectors’ seats, rejects Onochie as national commissioner


The national executive of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) joined the league of those kicking against nomination of Special Assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, as one of the National Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) with a protest to the National Assembly Wednesday .

This is even as the party vowed to retrieve seats of the lawmakers at the National Assembly who have defected from the party through litigations.

Led by its National Chairman , Uche Secondus, the PDP executives and supporters stormed the MOPOL Gate of the National Assembly at about 12:30pm to kick against Onochie’s nomination.

The party in a letter addressed to the Chairman, Senate Commitee on INEC and signed by its National Secretary, Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, said Onochie being a card carrying member of a political party ( APC ), is not qualified for such appointment as stated in relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The protest, the party added, is carried out to save the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Senate and President Buhari from public ridicule.

The letter titled: ‘Rejection of the Nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner’, reads in part: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has learnt of the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a Commissioner in INEC by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The nomination which was read on the floor of the Senate and forwarded to your committee for screening has created a lot of misgivings in the court of public opinion and judgement.

“Our Party considers it as important to bring to the attention of your committee the fact that our duty is to let you know that the National Assembly must endeavour to do things right and in accordance with the dictates of the laws of the country.

“The Nigeria Constitution 1999 as amended clearly prohibits people like Mrs. Onochie, who is very partisan, in fact, a card carrying member of a political party to be appointed into INEC as an electoral umpire. Section 156(i)(a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the Constitution have out rightly disqualified her.

“We are, therefore, writing to ask the Chairman to save the Senate President, the Senate itself and Mr. President from being ridiculed.

“We call on your committee to reject the nomination of Mrs. Onochie because she cannot be neutral or independent as she is factually known to be an unrepentant card carrying member of the APC with uncountable number of proofs”.

The Senate Minority Leader , Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe ( PDP Abia South) and his counterpart in the House of Representatives , Hon Ndudi Elumelu , received the party executives and promised to kick against the nomination .

On gale of defection hitting the party, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said machineries were being put in place to retrieve seats of the defectors through litigations .

He denied allegation of internal crisis or factionalisation levelled against the party by the defectors.

“No state chapter of PDP is engrossed with any form of crisis. The party is one and united from the national down to ward levels”, he said.

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