Lauretta Onochie, President Muhammadu Buhari’s chairman-nominee for the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, says she has been inundated with applications from youths wanting to become her personal assistant since her nomination came to public light.
Ms Onochie, currently a social media aide to Mr Buhari, stated this at the screening of the 15 nominees for the board of the NDDC by the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja on Thursday.
“Since the announcement of my nomination, I have received thousands of applications from our young people wanting to be personal assistants because that is all they know,” she remarked.
“We are going to show them that there is more to life than being a personal assistant.”
Ms Onochie in her presentation said that she would ensure that all the areas under Niger Delta got a fair deal.
“We are going to show them how to be properly empowered so that our region can start booming like all the other regions.
“I have seen the men that I have been nominated along with, we have been in contact with each other. We are going to work as a team because I am a team player.
“I hail from a community that produces all kinds of agricultural products that have not been properly harnessed.
“These are some of the things we will work on to be able to bring food to the table of our people and to empower our people,” Ms Onochie said.
Ms Onochie has long been cast as a controversial figure, owing to her activities as the president’s social media aide.
Earlier in the year, the Senate flatly rejected her nomination as a national commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission, citing her staunch partisan standing.
On Thursday, Senators at the screening took turns to support or raise objections about her nomination.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) said the circumstances of her earlier rejection was a “different scenario” from the current nomination. Corroborating, Senator Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) welcomed her nomination, saying she believes Ms Onochie would bring women’s innate “multitasking abilities” to bear on the job.
However, Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa) objected on the grounds that Ms Onochie’s nomination runs foul of the NDDC Act which stipulates that appointees must be indigenes of oil-producing areas