INEC has bowed to Buhari’s pressure – Oby Ezekwesili

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesil, wants the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mamoud Yakubu, to reverse the recent deployment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, as chairperson of INEC’s Results Collation Centre in next month’s presidential election.

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Ezekwesili, in a statement yesterday said “The INEC chairman appears to have bowed to pressure from the Presidency.”

She described Zakari’s appointment as political corruption, “considering that having a relation of the President who is a contestant in the February 2019 presidential election amounts to an apparent Conflict-of-Interest situation.”

She said that such “repugnant deployment of Zakari to the collation centres suggests a brazen attempt to ease rigging for the APC’s candidate in the elections.”

To ensure peace and give all the candidates a level playing ground, the ACPN presidential candidate asked the INEC to restore confidence in the management of the collation process by reversing the appointment of Zakari as chairperson.

“Zakari can be assigned another task farther away from tasks that can hinder electoral integrity,” Ezekwesili added.

Continuing, she said:”The INEC chairman has obviously bowed to President Buhari’s visible and increasingly brazen determination to not just rig but to steal the 2019 presidential election and throw the country into crisis. Or how else can one describe this repugnant action of placing the President’s niece, Mrs Amina Zakari, at the head of the centre for collation of election results?

“The President and INEC chairman should know that this extremely repugnant and provocative act of political corruption that seeks to undermine our democracy and destabilise the country shall be resisted by all patriotic Nigerians.

“I caution the INEC chairman and the Presidency to reverse this shameful posting immediately and safeguard the integrity of the 2019 elections.”

Ezekwesili said that the latest development compounded doubts about the President’s interest in presiding over a credible 2019 elections when he refused to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018.

“The President should lead a discussion among candidates and parties to set the rules that will guide the security forces in the 2019 elections. Ideally, the military and police establishments should be pulled out of the involvement in our elections, considering the damning evidences of how their personnel disenfranchised voters in Osun and Ekiti governorship elections.

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