The Senate on Thursday rejected the nominee from Zamfara, Mr Ahmad Mahmud, as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
The upper chamber, however, confirmed the nominees from Lagos State and Kebbi State, Dr Rufus Akeju and Dr Mahmuda Isah, respectively.
This followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which was presented by its Chairman, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, at plenary.
Nazif said that the nominees appeared before the committee in May 2017.
He said that after careful study of the nominees’ documents, the committee found those from Lagos and Kebbi suitable for the position of Resident Electoral Commissioner, but had to step down that of Zamfara.
In his contribution, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi) said that it was true that they initially had a reservation on the nomination of the nominee from Kebbi, but that the issues were later resolved.
According to him, after due consultation with the relevant authorities in the state and other stakeholders, we resolved to allow the nomination. We are in support of his nomination.
Similarly, Sen. Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara) said: “I don’t accept the statement that after careful deliberations and consultations, the nominee from Zamfara was rejected.
“With all sense of modesty, I am a critical stakeholder in Zamfara politics; nobody consulted me.
“These nominations are entirely the exclusive right of President Muhammadu Buhari and no other person.
“I respect the state governor and his views as to why he took some actions. At the same time, we are senators and by our oath, we are supposed to live above board.
“I was not consulted about this gentleman. I don’t see the sufficient reason for his rejection; I oppose his rejection completely for want of evidence,” Marafa said.
On his part, Sen. Tijjani Kaura (APC-Zamfara) said that he was totally in support of the committee’s decision in rejecting the nominee.
“The reason is that Ahmad Mahmud is not an indigene of Zamfara even though he hails from Sokoto which is a sister state.
“The essence of appointing Resident Electoral Commissioners is to represent states. We feel in Zamfara that Mahmud does not represent the people of Zamfara,” he said.
Responding on the matter, Nazif said that the issue of Zamfara was simple.
“When there is a contentious issue like this, and we have three senators from Zamfara, the conventional practice in the Senate is that when two senators are in agreement and one is not, it is left to the one disagreeing.
“It is left for Sen. Ahmed Sani (APC-Zamfara West) who is the third senator from the state to settle the matter.
“I met Sani and he said that whatever decision was taken by the committee, he will be in line with it. He seems to be in line with Sen. Kaura’s view.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that though there were traditions, “but as a committee you have done a report, signed a report and presented the report.
“Don’t make a mockery of our institution and committee; Marafa has a right to his objection. That does not deviate from what your report is’’.
Saraki congratulated the nominees whose nominations had been approved by the senate.