The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday rejected the appointment of Hajia Amina Bala Zakari as acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that the Presidency plans to use her appointment to compromise the Election Petition Tribunals in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, PDP did not explain how Zakari will influence the tribunals, under the judiciary, to deliver judgements in favour of the ruling APC.
Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, addressing journalists in Abuja, stressed that with her appointment, the public no longer has confidence and trust in INEC, and that she was made the acting INEC Chairman because of her very strong relationship with the Presidency and a governor from the North West who influenced the position for her.
According to Metuh, “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 hand over 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 was influenced by personal relationship with the Presidency and one of the new governors of the North West, ostensibly to pave way for the APC at the electoral tribunals, has completely eroded public trust in the commission.
“Whereas 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 perpetuates 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.”