The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) Collation Centre for the general elections as a moral burden on President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC.
Since the appointment was announced, many Nigerians, especially the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have raised objection alleging that Zakari could use her position to favour the president and his party in the election, after it was being alleged that she is a niece to Mr. Buhari.
Though, the presidency had issued a statement to deny any blood relationship between the INEC officer and the president, PDP had openly doubted the integrity of the election if the woman remain with commission, and then called on the National Assembly to relieve her of her position as an INEC Commissioner.
That was also the position Fayose reinforced in his statement released on Saturday.
He disagreed with presidency and INEC on their defence of the controversial appointment, describing the efforts as further prove for alleged desperation to rig the February 16 presidential election for the president despite his alleged rejection by Nigerians.
“Even if Amina Zakari can be as impartial as she can be, now that Nigerians are thinking that there is a real likelihood of her being biased, she should excuse herself. More so that she is not the only National Commissioner in INEC,” Fayose stated.
The former governor also said though it is true that Zakari was originally appointed to the commission by the former President Goodluck Jonathan, the appointment did not take place when President Buhari was a candidate in an election.
“In fact, the President had even vowed never to run for the Presidency after the 2011 election. Now that he is a candidate and also a sitting President, fairness and equity demands that she should step aside from playing any role in this election”.
“Certain things can be good, but might not be morally right. This issue of Amina Zakari, a known relation of the APC presidential candidate, functioning as INEC head of collation centre is morally wrong.
“Therefore, the Presidency and INEC have the moral burden to prove to Nigerians that they are not in any way out to shortchange them.”