THE recently appointed Chairman, Advisory Committee and Presidential Election Collation Centre Committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amina Zakari has reacted to claims that she is a blood relation of President Muhammadu Buhari and such not fit for such position.
“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,” Amina Zakari who is a National Commissioner at INEC said in an interview with the BBC.
“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.”
She insisted that she would not resign her appointment with INEC despite calls from the oppositions for her removal or resignation, claiming that her appointment portends danger for the forthcoming general election.
Zakari, who is a former acting Chairman of INEC, said she had served as a special adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
She also hinted that she was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as an INEC commissioner and she had done the job diligently for the last eight years.
For instance, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political groups as well as individuals had alleged that Zakari, who was, on Thursday, named by the commission as its Chairman, Advisory Committee and Presidential Election Collation Centre Committee, was a niece of Buhari.
They maintained that she was not qualified to preside over the collation of the presidential poll’s results.
By virtue of her position, she will coordinate the collation of results for the February 16 presidential poll, in which Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)in the election, will contest the presidential ticket for a second term in office.
Her reaction came on the heals of similar reaction by the the Presidency to the allegation. The Presidency had in a statement explained that Amina Zakari was appointed to INEC during the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PDP, the Inter-Party Advisory Council and several political parties had called on INEC to rescind the appointment of Zakari as the chairman of the committee on National Collation Centre.