A National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Amina Zakari, has expelled the account that she has a blood connection with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Peoples Democratic Party & other political gatherings and in addition people had claimed that Zakari, who was, on Thursday, named by the commission as its Chairman, Advisory Committee and Presidential Election Collation Center Committee, was a niece of Buhari.
They, accordingly, presented that she was not fit to manage the gathering of the presidential poll’s outcomes.
By ideals of her post, she will organize the collation of results for the February 16 presidential election, in which Buhari, the aspirants of the All Progressives Congress in the poll, will challenge the presidential ticket for a 2nd term in office.
The Presidency has anyway denied the claim that Zakari has a blood connection to the President. It likewise clarified that the national commissioner was designated to INEC amid the administration of previous President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PDP, the Inter-Party Advisory Council & a few political gatherings had approached INEC to repeal the assignment of Zakari as the director of the board of trustees on National Collation Center.
Be that as it may, in a meeting with the BBC, which was circulated on Saturday, nonetheless, Zakari, who is a previous acting Chairman of INEC, said she had worked as a unique counsel to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
She additional expressed that she was delegated by previous President Goodluck Jonathan as an INEC official and she had carried out the responsibility steadily throughout the previous 8 years.
Zakari included, “I’m not his (Buhari) niece; I am not his cousin and, on this job, I was appointed since 2010 by President Jonathan. Prior to that, I was appointed as SA to President Obasanjo and I have done my work conscientiously over the years as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria.”
“I don’t think I should be distracted now that elections are coming. I will continue doing my work. I will continue to serve my country to the best of my ability with the best of intentions. President Muhammadu Buhari is my President as everybody else’s President.”
“He is not my cousin; he is not my uncle as is being claimed but I know him as my leader and the leader of the nation.”
PDP, Ezekwesili, Afenifere, others request Zakari’s discharge. In the mean time, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Pan-Yoruba socio-social association, Afenifere,& the presidential aspirant of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili, have requested the expulsion of Zakari as the Chairman, Advisory Committee and Presidential Election Collation Center Committee of the INEC.
Likewise, a previous Ekiti State senator, Ayodele Fayose, and the presidential aspirants of the National Rescue Movement, Usman Alhaji, trusted Zakari, who has been claimed to have a connection with President Muhammadu Buhari, should move down from INEC to offer believability to the pending poll.
It’s baldfaced endeavor to ease fixing for APC, says Ezekwesili
In her response, Ezekwesili solicited the Chairman from INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to turn around the assignment of Zakari as the collation officer for the presidential race.
In an announcement on Saturday, the ACPN presidential aspirant stated, “The INEC chairman appears to have bowed to pressure from the Presidency.”
She depicted Zakari’s assignment as political defilement, “considering that having a relation of the President, who is a contestant in the February 2019 presidential election, amounts to an apparent conflict-of-Interest situation.”
She said such “repugnant deployment of Zakari to the collation centres suggests a brazen attempt to ease rigging for the APC’s candidate in the election.”
To guarantee harmony and give every one of the aspirants a dimension playing ground, the ACPN presidential aspirant asked INEC to reestablish trust in the administration of the gathering procedure by turning around the assignment of Zakari as the administrator.
Ezekwesili included, Zakari can be assigned another task farther away from tasks that can hinder electoral integrity.
“Or how else can one describe this repugnant action of placing the President’s niece, Mrs Amina Zakari, at the head of the centre for collation of election results?”
“The President and INEC chairman should know that this extremely repugnant and provocative act of political corruption that seeks to undermine our democracy and destabilise the country shall be resisted by all patriotic Nigerians.”
“I caution the INEC chairman and the Presidency to reverse this shameful posting immediately and safeguard the integrity of the 2019 elections.”
She’s a noteworthy risk to Nigeria’s democracy, national strength – PDP
In its very own response, the PDP, on Saturday, said Buhari’s permission that he had a marriage association with Zakari had vindicated its position that she couldn’t be trusted with the assemblage of the presidential decision results.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an announcement, likewise claimed that Zakari had turned into a noteworthy recognizable danger to Nigeria’s democracy, national steadiness & corporate presence as a country.
As indicated by him, since she has been busted, Nigerians anticipate that she should silently leave from INEC, rather than enabling her to be purportedly utilized as an apparatus to crash the country’s democracy & dive it into emergency.
Ologbondiyan, who is the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, confronted Buhari to likewise react to the situation of a senior statesman, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who, over two years prior, in a media talk, blamed Buhari for nepotism in the assignment of Zakari, his niece, and the pushing of her assignment as a commissioner to speak to his enthusiasm for INEC.
He stated,“It is now clear that in addition to the relationship by affinity, Buhari also has a consanguinity relationship with Zakari and has not denied that he started his early childhood in Amina Zakari’s father’s house.”
“President Buhari’s admittance has effectively established that the PDP has not been crying wolf on the impropriety of involving Zakari in the collation of presidential election results, let alone being appointed to head the final determination of the presidential election.”
“It is totally unethical and immoral for an umpire to insist on officiating a contest even when her impartiality is called to question. Even in the judiciary, judges recuse themselves in cases involving parties they have affinity with. Zakari must, therefore, recuse herself if the 2019 presidential election must be credible.”
Arrangement is an ethical weight on Presidency, INEC – Fayose
Likewise, Fayose has depicted the assignment of Zakari as an ethical weight on Buhari, the APC & INEC.
Fayose said the legitimization of the assignment by the Presidency & INEC was a further show of supposed urgency to fix the February 16 presidential poll.
The previous representative, in an announcement on Saturday by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, said with the uncertainty being raised over the capacity of Zakari to be nonpartisan amid the decision, “fairness and equity demand that she should step aside from playing any role in this election.”
The ex-governor included,“Even if Amina Zakari can be as impartial as she can be, nevertheless, now that Nigerians are thinking that there is real likelihood of her being biased, she should excuse herself; more so that she is not the only national commissioner in INEC.”
He depicted the Presidency’s justification that Zakari was selected by a PDP government as childish & unsuitable.
Fayose included, “When Amina Zakari was appointed as INEC national commissioner, President Buhari, her blood relation, was not a presidential candidate.
“Certain things can be good but might not be morally right. This issue of Amina Zakari, a known blood relation of the APC presidential candidate, functioning as INEC head of collation centre, is morally wrong.
“Let every political party too bring somebody to the situation room. It shouldn’t be a hidden agenda.
“Therefore, the Presidency and INEC have the moral burden to prove to Nigerians that they are not in any way out to short-change them.”
She should not take part in the poll, says Afenifere
Additionally, Afenifere said Zakari ought not be permitted to partake in the February & March general poll.
It guaranteed that she assumed a shameful job in the governorship poll held in Osun & Ekiti states in 2018.
The Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said this in a meeting with SUNDAY PUNCH in Lagos on Friday, focusing on that holding Zakari, in spite of what the general people clamor against her assignment, implied that the agency was not prepared to be straightforward in the handling of the coming polls.
The Afenifere representative said the affirmed “reprehensible activities” of Zakari alone had made some validity issue for INEC.
Odumakin stated, “I think the problem with Amina Zakari is that she has become a red flag. The INEC chairman said she would be in charge of the collation centre and not the election but if you look at the roles she played in the elections in Osun, Ekiti and others, you will see that she is notorious and she has become an embarrassment to the commission. She has removed a lot of credibility from INEC.”
“Really, Nigeria should insist that this woman should not be part of the 2019 elections. She should be removed.”
In a similar vein, Alhaji, the presidential aspirant of the National Rescue Movement, said INEC had demonstrated that it was not prepared to lead free, reasonable & honest poll.
He excoriated the INEC for selecting Zakari, who he portrayed as Buhari’s blood relation, to be accountable for the collation center for the presidential election.
He expressed, “We condemn her appointment in its entirety. This appointment shows clearly that Buhari is not ready to conduct free and fair elections. Amina Zakari should not have any business in INEC, let alone be in charge of the presidential election collation centre.
“She has biological relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and a senior official of INEC. Then tell me, where is the independence of INEC?
“We have seen the handwriting clearly on the wall that the 2019 elections will not be free and fair. The elections will not be free and fair because Muhammadu Buhari has become the judge in his own case. What I mean here is that his niece is presiding at the collation centre.”