By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Thursday rejected the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, a relative of President Muhammadu Buhari as chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Advisory Committee and Election Collation Centre Committee, saying it is a ploy to rig the polls in favour of the President.
Addressing journalists at the Presidential Campaign headquarters Thursday, Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Council, PPCO, Kola Ologbondiyan said the party would not accept the choice of Mrs. Zakari for reasons it had enumerated in the past.
“Today (Thursday), we have been informed that the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, apparently in furtherance of the plots to rig the Presidential election, has appointed Mrs. Amina Zakari, a blood relation (niece) of the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Chairperson of INEC Advisory Committee and Presidential election Collation Center Committee.
“The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization, 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 Information and Communication Technology, 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, Professor Yakubu has confirmed that he has been compromised and that he has already succumbed to pressure by the Presidency and APC to open the way for the self-succession of President Buhari,” the party said.
Ologbondiyan argued that there was 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,” adding that with her “at the head of results collation, there is no way votes cast by Nigerians will count.”
It continued: “We call 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.
“If the INEC Chairman wants a peaceful Presidential election, he should, with the speed of light, reverse himself on this appointment.”
The party warned of grave consequences should the 2019 elections fall short of the credibility test in the eyes of Nigerians and the global community.
A source at INEC who declined to be named however said Amina Zakari was simply appointed to manage the situation room the collation of results of the Presidential election.
According to him, “The woman was appointed as chairperson of the committee in charge of the collation centre which is the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja and not committee in charge of collation of results. The INEC Chairman remains the Chief collation and returning officer for the Presidential election.”