Governor Yari, Senator Marafa Clash Over President Buhari’s REC Nominee
Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul-Aziz Yari; and lawmaker representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, Senator Kabiru Marafa, are in a battle over the eligibility of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee for Zamfara, Ahmad Bello Mahmud, as Resident Elect0ral Commissioners of the Independent National Elect0ral Commission.
The Senate had last Thursday approved the nomination of Ambassador Rufus Akeju (Lagos State) and Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi State) as RECs but rejected Mahmud based on the recommendation by the Senate Committee on INEC in its report which was unanimously adopted.
Mahmud was alleged not to be an indigene of Zamfara State. The panel had recommended that the nominee be rejected based on the controversy over his state of origin.
At the plenary on Wednesday, Marafa moved a motion in which he dismissed the reason cited for Mahmud’s rejection.
It was entitled, ‘Rescission of the Senate Resolution on the Confirmation of the Nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud Representing Zamfara State as Nominee for Resident Elect0ral Commissioner.’
“The report by the committee does not support the rejection and this Senate cannot sit down, fold its arms and see injustice meted out to a hapless Nigerian,” he said.
Marafa pointed out that despite being a serving senator and the senator representing the nominee as well as a critical stakeholder from Zamfara State, “I was at no point in time ever consulted on the confirmation of the said nominee.”
He said, “The Senate is aware that item 4.1.2 on Page 6 of the screening committee’s report has confirmed that the nominee was born in Gusau, Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State; the report has confirmed that the nominee had both his primary and secondary education in Gusau and Anka Local Government Areas of Zamfara State, respectively.
“The Senate is aware that the nominee was a one-time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Zamfara State, and the Chairman, Zamfara State Anti-Corruption Commission, among others.
“The Senate is aware also that the methodology adopted by the committee, as contained in item 3.0 on Page 3 of the report, made no reference whatsoever to ‘indigeneship’ as a basis for consideration and for clearing any nominee.
“The Senate is further aware that the assertion by the senator representing Zamfara North Senatorial District that the nominee is from Kebbi State and not from Zamfara State is therefore false.”
Saraki referred the matter back to the Senate Committee on INEC and mandated it to report back in one week.