Ohanaeze Ndigbo has told Nigerians to hold the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Federal Government responsible should anything happen to the nation’s democracy, with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rejecting the appointment of Amina Zakari, a blood relation of the APC presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari, as Head of Election Collation Committee for the 2019 general elections.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation was reacting after INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday, announced that Zakari, who had been INEC’s national commissioner in charge of welfare and health, would chair the Election Collation Committee.
Ohanaeze, speaking through its President General Chief Nnia Nwodo, called on Zakari, a national commissioner in INEC to resign from the commission because of her blood relation to President Muhammadu Buhari who is the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Nwodo said it was bad enough that Mrs. Zakari was allowed to continue to serve in INEC and worse by INEC appointing her in the new position.
He said, “It’s like Rangers VS Kano Pillars and Kano Pillars is allowed to nominate a referee. It’s impossible for justice to be done. In a civilized clime Amina Zakari should have resigned.
“I expected the APC government having come to power through a free and fair election conducted by another president, they should not destroy the history.
“I call on Amina Zakari to honourably resign. Whatever happens to our democracy tomorrow, they (INEC and Federal Government) should hold themselves responsible.
“With continued membership of Mrs. Zakari in the commission, the corporate personality of INEC is seriously whittled down; making her head of collation committee is worse than anything anybody can imagine,” Nwodo said.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the appointment would compromise the presidential election, particularly on account of “her blood relationship” with Buhari who is a candidate in the poll.
PDP’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the appointment as a step towards destroying the future of democracy in Nigeria.
“Today, we have been informed that the chairman of INEC, 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 centre committee.
“The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) 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 her 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,” the PDP said.