The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the appointment of Amina Zakari as the Acting National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“The PDP is particularly disturbed by the development in INEC where President Buhari, who knew all along that the immediate-past INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega would be leaving office by June 30, had to wait for him to handover to one of the national commissioners only to reverse it immediately, thereby injecting bad blood in the commission.
The situation in INEC since the PDP government reformed and granted it operational autonomy has been peaceful, but Tuesday’s untidy overruling of Prof. Jega and appointing of Mrs. Amina Zakari as acting chairman which, we gathered was influenced by personal relationship with the Presidency and one of the new governors of the North West, ostensibly to pave the way for the APC at the electoral tribunals, has completely eroded public trust in the commission.
Whereas the PDP recognizes the right and powers of the President to appoint the Chairman of INEC and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), we reject attempts as in the case of the AGF to paint the process as transparent and objective when such was not the case, but brought to question the sincerity and commitment of the present administration to due process.
In INEC, the PDP states in unequivocal terms that we cannot, as critical stakeholders fold our hands and watch while the Presidency perpetuate actions that diminish the independence of the electoral commission.
The PDP has declared the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as unacceptable and demand that President Buhari changes her immediately.
Our reasons include the fact that due process was not observed in the appointment and that Mrs. Zakari has shown in the last elections that she is manifestly bias in favour of the APC. Finally her appointment is a clear case of nepotism.
We ask, if they trusted Prof. Jega and commended him for conducting free and fair elections, why would they not trust him on who to hold forth in the commission until a substantive Chairman is appointed, rather than appointing someone who is retiring from the commission in the next three weeks?
With the prevailing record of Mr. President on appointments, it is unlikely that a substantive INEC Chairman will be appointed in the next one year. Is there a hidden agenda? Has Mrs. Zakari been handed a script to act given that we have cases in the tribunals in addition to the forthcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa?”