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INEC Chair: Amina Zakari Was Appointed Strictly On Merit, Experience, Gender Equality – Presidency

AMINAZAKARIThe Presidency was emphatic on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Mrs Amina Bala Zakari, a National Commissioner at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its acting Chairman fully complied with due process and was based entirely on merit, her vast experience in the internal operations of INEC and the President’s commitment to affirmative action in support of gender equality.
Moreover, apart from Mrs Zakari being eminently qualified for the position, she was the only woman among the six commissioners considered as successor to the immediate-past chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, whose five-year tenure expired on Tuesday.

Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, therefore, dismissed the criticism of the appointment by Mr Olisa Metuh, Spokesman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying his charges of nepotism and partisanship in the appointment of the acting chairman were lies.

Adesina said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday that President Buhari certainly did not “overrule” Prof. Jega in appointing Mrs Zakari as the acting Chairman; for, Jega’s purported handing over to Ambassador Mohammed Wali, another Commissioner about eight hours earlier, cannot be misconstrued as an “appointment” because only the President has the constitutional authority, which he exercised to appoint Mrs Zakari.

Consequently, he urged the public to discard Metuh’s spurious criticisms.
“Mr Metuh’s spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by ‘personal relationship with the Presidency’ and a Governor in the North-West ‘to pave way for the APC’ at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public.
“The allegations are nothing but falsehoods contrived by Mr Metuh to unjustly denigrate a President popularly elected by Nigerians to undo the damage done to the nation by years of PDP rule,” Adesina said.

The full statement reads:

Due Process Was followed In Mrs Zakari’s Appointment As Ag. INEC Chairman
We have noted with regret, the latest tirade against President Muhammadu Buhari issued today by the PDP’s Spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh.
Other than boring reporters at his press conference with a rehash of baseless allegations of inaction against the President, Mr Metuh clearly had nothing new to say apart from his charges of nepotism and partisanship in the appointment of the Acting INEC Chairman, which also lacks any factual foundation.
President Buhari certainly did not “overrule” Prof. Attahiru Jega in appointing Mrs Amina Zakari as the Acting INEC Chairman, as Mr Metuh alleged.
Prof. Jega’s purported handing over to another Commissioner cannot be construed as an “appointment” because only the President has the constitutional authority, which he exercised to appoint Mrs Zakari as acting Chairman of INEC.
Contrary to Mr Metuh’s allegations, President Buhari’s appointment of Mrs Zakari as Acting INEC Chariman was based entirely on merit, her vast experience in the internal operations of INEC and the President’s commitment to affirmative action in support of gender equality, because, apart from being fully qualified for the position, Mrs Zakari was the only woman among the six Commissioners considered.
Due Process was certainly followed in Mrs Zakari’s appointment. Mr Metuh’s spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by “personal relationship with the Presidency” and a Governor in the North-West “to pave the way for the APC” at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public.
The allegations are nothing but falsehoods contrived by Mr Metuh to unjustly denigrate a President popularly elected by Nigerians to undo the damage done to the nation by years of PDP rule.
His claim that the PDP has rejected Mrs Zakari’s appointment is also laughable after he had admitted that the right and power of the President to make such appointments cannot be questioned.

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