The former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose has reacted to the appointment of Amina Zakari as the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has constantly alleged that Zakari is President Buhari’s niece.
According to Vanguard, Fayose says the INEC commissioner should step aside and not play any role during the 2019 elections.
The former Governor also said that the Presidency’s statement reportedly defending Zakari’s appointment is a proof of the government’s desperation to rig the elections.
The Presidency had issued a statement saying that there is no blood tie between Zakari and Buhari.
The statement issued by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu also posits that she was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In his response, Fayose described Shehu’s statement as unacceptable, saying “When Amina Zakari was appointed as INEC National Commissioner, President Buhari, her blood relation was not a presidential candidate. In fact, the President had even vowed never to run for the presidency after the 2011 election. Now that he is candidate and also a sitting President, fairness and equity demands that she should step aside from playing any role in this election.”
He also said “Certain things can be good, but might not morally right. This issue of Amina Zakari, a known blood relation of the APC presidential candidate functioning as INEC head of collation centre is morally wrong.
“Possibility of bias is being raised, INEC and the Presidency should be reminded of the position of Lord Denning on how the issue of likelihood of bias should be viewed. Even if Amina Zakari can be as impartial as she can be, nevertheless, now that Nigerians are thinking that there is real likelihood of her being bias, she should excuse herself. More so that she is not the only National Commissioner in INEC.
“Should the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar and other presidential candidates also have their relatives as part of INEC committee on collation of results?
“Therefore, the Presidency and INEC have the moral burden to prove to Nigerians that they are not in any way out to shortchanged them.
“It won’t be a surprise if tomorrow, Nigerians are told that the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim has been extended, not because he has done well protecting Nigerians, but in furtherance to the plot to use the security agencies to rig the elections.”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has no intention of removing Amina Zakari.