Just IN: Amina Zakari clears air on relationship with Buhari

Since her appointment as the head of Independent National Electoral Commission’s presidential election results collation committee, for allegedly being a blood relative of President Muhammadu Buhari, Amina Zakari has said she has no familial relationship with the president.

“I’m not his niece, I’m not his cousin,” Zakari told BBC Igbo.

“I’ve been appointed since 2010 by President Jonathan and prior to that, I was appointed an SA to President Obasanjo and I have done my work conscientiously over the years as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria.”

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“President Muhammadu Buhari is my president as he is everybody else’s president,” she added.

The People’s Democratic Party, the Inter-Party Advisory Council and several political parties had variously called on INEC to rescind her appointment.

PDP further claimed that Zakari has “blood relationship” with Buhari and her appointment was an attempt to rig the poll in Buhari’s favour.

Buhari has since denied having any familial relationship with Zakari.

“President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari don’t share a family relationship,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu also dismissed the opposition allegations.

“I am absolutely responsible for the coordination of the secretariat for the collation of results,” he told AFP.

“But somebody has to prepare the venue for the conduct of the election, the internet service that we have to provide, accreditation of international observers and the media,” he added.

Zakari insisted that she was focused on her doing the job she has been given by INEC and that controversies were a needless distraction for her.

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“I don’t think I should be distracted now that elections are coming,” she said.

She noted that she has been with INEC prior to the 2011 presidential elections which the then Candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change lost to Jonathan.

“People that complained have closely worked with me. They have not accused me of any wrongdoing over the years,” she said.

“If they have, I will love them to come forward and prove it to the nation and the world at large.”

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