Buhari’s niece, Amina Zakari, heads INEC result collation centre

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By Yakubu Ahmed

Protests has trailed the appointment of a niece of President Muhammadu Buhari’s niece, Amina Zakari as the head of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, 2019 National Collation Center Committee for the collation of the result of the presidential election.

Two committees were inaugurated by INEC ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

Apart from the 2019 National Collation Center Committee headed by Hajia Zakari, INEC also inaugurated is an advisory committee for the 2019 general elections headed by Air Vice Marshall Ahmed Tijani, Muazu.

By her new appointment, Zakari will be responsible for announcing the results of the presidential election.

Hajia Zakari who was the former INEC Director of Operations, was last year moved to Health and Welfare arm of the Commission, following public outcry over her roles in some governorship elections.

Speaking during the inauguration, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said the committee will be responsible for the collation of results.

He said the committee will operate from the International Conference Centre in Abuja, where results of the Presidential election will be announced.

“It will serve as the secretariat for collation of results and venue for briefing of international observers and the media,” he said.

Reacting to the announcement, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, PPCO, protested the appointment of Hajia Zakari and described it as “another heinous machination by the Buhari Presidency and the INEC) to subvert the will of the people and rig the February 16, Presidential election.

According to the PPCO Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, “PPCO outrightly, vehemently and unequivocally rejects, in its entirety, the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s blood relation, as the head of the collation of results, in the same election in which his uncle, President Buhari, as a candidate, has displayed a huge desperation to win.

“The appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, who had been openly accused in various quarters as being the link person between INEC and the Buhari Presidency in their schemes to rig the election for President Buhari, constitutes a direct violence against the Presidential election and the PDP will not, in any way, whatsoever, accept it.

“This is the same Amina Zakari, who headed the ICT Department of INEC at the time that department was accused of manipulating the INEC voter register to accommodate fictitious, underage and alien voters, particularly, in remote areas where they plan to allocate and announce conjured votes for President Buhari and the APC.

“It will interest Nigerians to note that this is the same Amina Zakari that was alleged to have played some roles in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state, where the electoral processes were flagrantly abused.

“In appointing Mrs. Amina Zakari to head the collation of this Presidential election, Prof. Yakubu has confirmed that he has been compromised and that he has already succumbed to pressure by the Buhari Presidency and APC to open the way for the self-succession of President Buhari.

“The fact remains that there is no way Amina Zakari will not allocate votes to her blood relation, President Buhari, whom Nigerians have indicated clearly that they are not ready to return to office as President.

“With Amina Zakari at the head of results collation, there is no way votes cast by Nigerians will count.”

PPCO called on all Nigerians and particularly the National Peace Committee to note that with the appointment of Amina Zakari, as head the collation of Presidential results, the INEC Chairman is setting the stage for a very huge political crisis, which is capable of derailing
our democratic process.

“We also urge the United Nations and other global democratic institutions to take copious note of this noxious appointment by the INEC Chairman.”

Also reacting to Hajia Zakari’s appointment, a former Director of strategy/Communication under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Jackson Ude in a tweet wrote: “Buhari’s sister in INEC, Amina Zakari, who was removed as Director of Operations and moved to Health and Welfare, has now been made Director, National Collation.”

In their own reaction, a pro-democracy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA described Zakari’s appointment as “reprehensible match fixing.”

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA rated the job of head of collation committee as same with the centrality of the role of a central referee in a football game.

“This aberration of this heavily compromised INEC is like making a sister of a goal keeper of one of the two competing football teams as the central referee of the most competitive finalists’ match and you expect that there will be fair play and justice.

“Doing such a morally damaged action is like match fixing. What has happened today in INEC with the ill advised decision of Yakubu Mahmood to give the most sensitive appointment to the biological blood sibling of a major contender in the same electoral contest amounts to the electoral equivalent of match fixing just like how some rogue elements fix football matches with very extensively damaging implications for the game of professional football.”


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