Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mamoud Yakubu, to reverse the recent appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as chairperson of the Committee on National Collation Centre.
It would be recalled that Zakari, who is well known as President Muhammadu Buhari’s relation, was on Thursday announced the chairperson of INEC’s Results Collation Centre in the February 2019 elections.
Ezekwesili while reacting to Zakari’s appointment in a press statement, 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 evidences 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 practise the Peace Accord, with exemplary actions, in order to build confidence in the process he ebulliently led.”