The Political quagmire between the Governor of Zamfara State , Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Kabiru Marafa ( APC Zamfara Central) over the nominee for the position of Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Thursday took a different dimension, as the latter alleged that the former is not an indigene of the state .
It will be recalled that the Senate had based on recommendation by its committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused confirmation of nomination of Barrister Ahmad Bello Mahmud as REC nominee for the state on the strength of petition written to that effect by Gov Yari. Governor Yari in the petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari in March this year and copied the Senate leadership alleged that the nominee was not an indigene of the state.
Speaking today, Senator Marafa made spirited attempts to ensure that the Senate changed its position, saying, “the Governor himself based on available records on his ancestral roots, is not an indigene of the state but elected as governor because he was born and brought up there the same way the rejected REC nominee was born and brought up in Gusau , the capital of the state “.
Marafa who rose through orders 1 and 127 of the Senate standing rules argued that for any petition to be admitted and acted upon by the Senate, there must be an affidavit to that effect which he said was not made available by the Governor in his petition against Ahmed Mahmud .
He said, “Mr President, we cannot go against our rules and in doing so, we need to put the nomination of Ahmad Mahmud as Zamfara REC nominee to voice votes again because Gov Yari who claimed that the man is not from the state did not sworn to any affidavit to that effect in his petition. ” Besides, Gov Yari himself going by available records on his ancestral roots , is also not an indigene of the state but somebody born and brought up in the state , the same way Barrister Ahmad Mahmud rose to be known as a resident of the state who has also served the state in different capacities “, he said .
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki who only noted Marafa’s point of order, however urged him to allow the Senate Committee already mandated by the senate to reconsider the nomination of the embattled nominee, come up with its report. Saraki said, “Your points and arguments are very valid but we cannot go out of our laid down procedure of addressing this type of matter . ” Since the committee on INEC based on your earlier motion , had been mandated to look into the matter , it would be wrong for us to decide on it through voice votes without getting report from the committee.”
Meanwhile, the senate Thursday referred the list of fresh nine REC nominees sent to it from the Presidency for consideration to the committee on INEC for more legislative action and report back in two weeks.
The nominees are Mr. Monday Tom from Akwa-Ibom, Mr Baba Yusuf from Borno, Mr Eric Olawale from Osun State, Dr Uthman Ajidagba from Kwara. Others are Mr Segun Agbaje from Ekiti, Dr Cyril Omorogbe from Edo, Mr Yahaya Bello from Nasarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Hart from Rivers and Mr Mohammed Ibrahim from Gombe State. Also, the Senate referred the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the confirmation of the Nomination of Ibrahim Rafa’I Imam as the Grand Kadi of Sharia Court of Appeal, Federal Capital Territory to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back in two weeks.