The Peoples Democratic Party has kicked against the appointment of Amina Zakari as head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation center for the elections.
Describing her as a relative of President Muhammadu Buhari, the opposition party said her appointment is an invitation to violence.
TheCable was not able to immediately confirm if she is related to the president. Both Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman and Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, did not pick calls made and have not responded to text messages sent.
Zakari’s appointment was announced at the committee’s inauguration on Thursday in Abuja.
She is to head the committee which Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said shall be responsible for the national collation centre – the International Conference Centre – from where results of the presidential election will be announced.
At a press conference in Abuja, Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the PDP presidential campaign, said the party would not accept Zakari’s appointment.
He said the appointment “constitutes a direct violence against the presidential election and there is no way votes cast by Nigerians will count”, with her as head of the collation center.
He said: “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.
“This is the same Amina Zakari, who headed the 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.
“In appointing Mrs. Amina Zakari to head the collation of this Presidential election, Prof. Yakubu has confirmed that he has been compromised and that he has already succumbed to pressure by the Buhari Presidency and APC to open the way for the self-succession of President Buhari.
“We, therefore, 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.
“The fact remains that there is 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.”
Ologbondiyan said for their to be a peaceful election, the INEC chairman should “with the speed of light, reverse himself on this appointment.”
“In fact, the PPCO reiterates its position that for us to have a peaceful election, Mrs. Amina Zakari should not be seen anywhere near any of the 2019 election processes, not to talk of being involved in the collation of Presidential results,” he added.
“The PDP remains committed to a peaceful and credible process, but we will never, in any way, allow anybody to use any means, under any guise whatsoever, to rig us out in this election.”