Abuja — The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday cautioned the Senate not to test the will of the people by pushing through the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari's aide, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It added that doing so will violate the wishes of the people and the 1999 Constitution as altered.
The PDP accused the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, of testing the will of the people by his failure to reject Onochie's nomination as demanded by Nigerians.
In a statement yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party warned that Lawan pitting the Senate against Nigerians, adding that the consequence of such arrogant derision to the definite provision of the 1999 Constitution as well as the precise demands by Nigerians to return Onochie's nomination to the president could cost the institution its respect with the people.
It added: "Our party is appalled that Senator Lawan, who swore to protect the constitution, will brazenly debase its clear provision in paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule by sending a card-carrying member of a political party for clearance as INEC national commissioner."
The PDP said sending Onochie's nomination to the Senate Committee on INEC for clearance was offensive to all parliamentary procedure of due process as it is akin to sending the name of Buhari to the committee for clearance as INEC chairman or national officer.
It said: "If he meant well, Senator Lawan ought to, upon receiving the obnoxious nomination, immediately return same to President Buhari and advise him to send a replacement.
"Senator Lawan must know that he is holding the office of the Senate president in trust and that the constitution has ample and unambiguous provisions with regard to a legislative official, who chooses to grossly violate its provisions, as being witnessed in his desperation to confirm Onochie as INEC official."
Also, the PDP said it was in solidarity with Nigerians, and urged the Chairman of Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, to detach and distance himself from Lawan, in his mission to desecrate the sanctity of the electoral system.
PDP counselled Gaya not to heed Lawan's push, urging him to act in line with the demand of Nigerians that Onochie's consideration is turned down.