Dr. Junaid Mohammed, lambasted the Presidency for “trying to distance President Muhammadu Buhari from Amina” who, he claimed, to be a blood-relation of the President.
Mohammed, a Second Republic politician and member of the 2014 National Conference, told Sunday Vanguard that it was shameful for an aide of Buhari to try to distance Buhari from Amina Zakari.
A presidential aide, Shehu Garba, had said the INEC Commissioner is not related to Buhari.
The INEC chief, in an interview with BBC News Igbo, yesterday, distanced herself from the niggling allegation that she is related to Buhari.
Her words, “I am not his (Buhari) niece. I am not his cousin. I was appointed to this same particular job by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010. Prior to that, I was appointed an A.S to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and I did my job perfectly”.
Disputing her position, however, Junaid told Vanguard, yesterday, “For those who do not know, let it be known (and let me repeat it) that Buhari’s sister, who was married to a prominent Emir in Kazaure, in the present Jigawa State, gave birth to Amina”.
He added, “It is doubtful if Buhari himself can say that Amina Zakari is not his niece. I can say, without any fear, that Buhari cannot deny his direct sibling.”
Mohammed said that although Amina is a pharmacist by profession and had been working hard in many other places, it was former President Goodluck Jonathan who nominated her as a National Commissioner to represent the North-West, with some inputs from then Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at that time.
Asked to explain why Amina’s position in INEC is currently generating controversy after she had been in the commission for more than eight years without any linkage to Buhari, the northern politics said that Amina should step aside at once because of the perception by the public that she could unduly influence the outcome of the election for Buhari.
“In the political situation where we have found ourselves, whether she is a blood relation or not of the President, she has to step aside once there has been widespread perception that she’s related to Buhari”, he stated.
“She became the most senior person in INEC but she read pharmacy and cannot be said to be the most suitable for the job. I warned INEC chiefs over Amina’s position long ago and they decided not to do something about the dilemma they now have on their hands.
“It was a wrong appointment ab initio and she should quietly step aside because of her relationship with the President. Let her go because the job she is expected to do is far beyond her.”