Another Opposition party Presidential candidate, this time, the one under the platform of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Oby Ezekwesili has joined others opposing the appointment of Amina Zakari by INEC Chair as chairperson in charge presidential result collation to immediately reverse such appointment
It would be recalled that zakari was appointed by the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu as the chairperson in charge of presidential result collation, a development that had since met with stiff resistance coming from another opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party, and many stakeholders having something to do with political stability in the country!
Reacting to her appointment, Ezekwesili, in a press statement made available to urban express news online, yesterday, said, “The INEC chairman appears to have bowed to pressure from the Presidency.”She described Zakari’s appointment as political corruption, “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. Such repugnant deployment of Zakari to the collation centres suggests a brazen attempt to ease rigging for the APC’s candidate in the elections.”
To ensure peace and give all the candidates a level playing ground, the ACPN presidential candidate asked INEC to restore confidence in the management of the collation process by reversing Zakari’s appointment as chairperson.
“Zakari can be assigned another task farther away from tasks that can hinder electoral integrity,” Ezekwesili added. Ezekwesili said the latest development compounded doubts about the President’s interest in presiding over a credible 2019 elections when he refused to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018.
She said: “Worse still, under President Buhari, the public has been alarmed at the gross misuse of security establishments to compromise elections in places like Osun and Ekiti States. Any attempt to repeat such abuse of state institutions in the 2019 elections for the ruling APC’s benefit must be averted to avoid throwing the country into political crisis.
“The President should lead a discussion among candidates and parties to set the rules that will guide the security forces in the 2019 elections. Ideally, the military and police establishments should be pulled out of the involvement in our elections, considering the damning evidence of how their personnel disenfranchised voters in Osun and Ekiti governorship elections. “I call on the international community to join the Nigerian people and prevail on President Buhari to practice the Peace Accord, with exemplary actions, in order to build confidence in the process he ebulliently led.”
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said it has been vindicated Saying further clarifications coming from second republic politician and former house of representative member Junaid Mohammed over zakari’s relationship with president Buhari further cements its arguments, adding also that Buhari’s admittance of an inter-marriage relationship with Amina had vindicated its stance that she could not be trusted with the collation of the 2019 presidential election results.
It tasked Buhari to respond to the criticism about Junaid Mohammed that he (President Buhari) pushed for the appointment of Amina to represent his interest at the commission. In a statement, the PPCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the President to speak more on his relationship with Amina.
The statement read in part: “It is now clear that in addition to the relationship by affinity, President Buhari also has a consanguinity relationship with Amina 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 Mrs Amina Zakari in the collation of Presidential election results, let alone being appointed to head the final determination of the Presidential election.