ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, not to succumb to pressure by the Presidency to return Mrs. Amina Zakari as Director of Operations.
The PDP also urged INEC not to change its statute-backed stand on the exclusion of Zamfara State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from presenting candidates in the 2019 general elections, following its failure to conduct congresses.
Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the PDP in a statement sent to Sundiata Post on Monday, said that Nigerians are already aware of the pressure from the Presidency to return Amina Zakari, a blood relation of President Muhammadu Buhari, as Director Operations, so that they can use her to manipulate the electoral processes and rig the election for President Buhari.
“While the PDP notes the redeployment of Amina Zakari to another directorate, the party nevertheless, reaffirms its position that her continuous stay in the commission constitutes a threat to free, fair and credible 2019 general elections, given her relationship with President Buhari, who is a major contender in the election.
“Amina Zakari’s removal as Director of Operations has been hailed by majority of Nigerians, a fact, which shows that voters had already lost confidence in her integrity to hold such a sensitive position, for which they prefer her outright removal from the commission.
“Furthermore, Nigerians are also already abreast of the provisions of the law leading to the exclusion of Zamfara state APC chapter from presenting candidates for the elections and we caution INEC against any contemplations to change the rules for the APC.
“The case of Amina Zakari and that of Zamfara APC constitute another direct integrity test for Prof. Yakubu on his capacity, integrity and readiness for free, fair and credible general elections in 2019.
“The PDP therefore charges Prof. Yakubu to ensure that he remains on the side of the people and take urgent steps to weed the commission of compromised officials, as Nigerians will accept nothing short of a transparent process in their quest for a replacement for the reckless, vindictive, incompetent and anti-people Buhari-led APC administration”, the statement further said.