Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has described the outcry over the appointment of Amina Zakari as head of Independent National Electoral Commission Collation Centre for the general elections as a moral burden on President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress and the electoral umpire.
Fayose said defence of the appointment by the presidency and INEC was a further show of alleged desperation to rig the February 16 presidential election in spite of the alleged rejection of the president by Nigerians.
The Presidency had on Friday denied insinuations of blood relationship between Buhari and Zakari, clarifying that their extended families only had marriage link, adding that the woman was appointed into INEC by the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party government.
But Fayose, in a statement on Saturday by his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, said with the doubt being raised over the ability of Zakari to be neutral in the position in the election, “fairness and equity demand that she should step aside from playing any role in this election.
“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.
He described the Presidency’s defence that Zakari was appointed by a PDP government as puerile and unacceptable, saying; “When Amina Zakari was appointed as INEC National Commissioner, President Buhari, her 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 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.”
Fayose accused the Federal Government of desperation to rig the elections, saying: “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.”
According to him, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s patriotic decision to appoint Prof Atahiru Jega as INEC Chairman was the reason President Buhari won the 2015 election, adding: “the President should rather be concerned with sustaining that legacy of credible elections that he inherited instead of the desperate pursuit of his re-election”.