Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has insisted that Mrs Amina Zakari, a national commissioner is not related to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Professor Yakubu said this in reaction to the controversy that trailed Mrs Zakari’s appointment as the chairperson of the collation centre committee for the general elections.
“Let me say categorically that she is not related to the President. She is from Jigawa State, the President is from Katsina State,” he told reporters in Abuja on Friday after a meeting with ASUU leaders.
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The INEC chairman dismissed allegations that Zakari could help manipulate the outcome of the presidential election in favour of President Buhari.
“Let me state this very categorically, that the responsibility for managing the venue does not in any way involve the collation of results,” he explained.
“Under the Nigerian Constitution, I am the Chief Electoral Officer of the Federation and the Returning Officer in the presidential election. I am not going to share that responsibility with anyone in the commission.
“I am absolutely responsible for the coordination of the secretariat for the collation of results. But somebody has to prepare the venue for us to collate results.”
The appointment of Mrs Zakari as the collation centre chief has sparked mixed reactions since she was inaugurated by Professor Yakubu on Thursday.
Hours after the news broke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the appointment and raised an alarm of alleged plot by the Muhammadu Burahi administration to rig the February polls.
In its reaction, the Presidency described the PDP allegation as false and stated that it was the opposition party that appointed her when it was in power.