The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the appointment of Amina Zakari, a niece of President Muhammadu Buhari, as the chairman of the result collation committee for the upcoming general election.

The party at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday noted that by making the appointment, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, was creating a self-succession plan for the president.

Kola Ologbodiyan, the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, who addressed the conference, told newsmen that the appointment of Zakari, who is the INEC Commissioner in charge of Health and Welfare, is unacceptable because of the numerous previous allegations against her.

He said the PDP will not allow itself to be rigged out of the election.

The PDP spokesman recalled that the party had raised several alarms on the intention of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to use INEC to manipulate the election but they had fallen on deaf ears.

He said: “You will recall that we have been raising the flag on how the Buhari Presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some individuals at the echelon of INEC have been seeking ways to compromise our electoral processes and open the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Muhammadu Buhari, having realized that he cannot win in a credible, free and fair polls.

“Today, we have been informed that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, apparently in furtherance of the plots to rig the Presidential election, has appointed Mrs Amina Zakari, a blood relation (niece) of the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Chairperson of INEC Advisory Committee and Presidential election Collation Center Committee.

“The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) outrightly, vehemently and unequivocally rejects, in its entirety, the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s blood relation, as the head of the collation of results, in the same election in which his uncle, President Buhari, as a candidate, has displayed a huge desperation to win.

“The appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, who had been openly accused in various quarters as being the link person between INEC and the Buhari Presidency in their schemes to rig the election for President Buhari, constitutes a direct violence against the Presidential election and the PDP will not, in any way, whatsoever, accept it.

“This is the same Amina Zakari, who headed the ICT Department of INEC at the time that department was accused of manipulating the INEC voter register to accommodate fictitious, underage and alien voters, particularly, in remote areas where they plan to allocate and announce conjured votes for President Buhari and the APC.

“It will interest Nigerians to note that this is the same Amina Zakari that was alleged to have played some roles in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state, where the electoral processes were flagrantly abused.

“In appointing Mrs Amina Zakari to head the collation of this Presidential election, Prof. Yakubu has confirmed that he has been compromised and that he has already succumbed to pressure by the Buhari Presidency and APC to open the way for the self-succession of President Buhari.

“The fact remains that there is no way Amina Zakari will not allocate votes to her blood relation, President Buhari, whom Nigerians have indicated clearly that they are not ready to return to office as President.

“With Amina Zakari at the head of results collation, there is no way votes cast by Nigerians will count.

“We, therefore, call on all Nigerians and particularly the National Peace Committee to note that with the appointment of Amina Zakari, as head the collation of Presidential results, the INEC Chairman is setting the stage for a very huge political crisis, which is capable of derailing our democratic process.”

The main opposition party also called on the international community including the United Nations and other global democratic institutions to take copious note of this noxious appointment by the INEC Chairman.

Ologbodiyan further states: “If the INEC Chairman wants a peaceful Presidential election, he should, with the speed of light, reverse himself on this appointment.

“In fact, the PPCO reiterates its position that for us to have a peaceful election, Mrs Amina Zakari should not be seen anywhere near any of the 2019 election processes, not to talk of being involved in the collation of Presidential results

“The PDP remains committed to a peaceful and credible process, but we will never, in any way, allow anybody to use any means, under any guise whatsoever, to rig us out in this election. Not after it is clear that Nigerians have attained a consensus to rally behind our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as their next President.

“All we ask for is a free, fair, credible and transparent electoral process in which the votes of Nigerians will not only count but will be seen to have counted.

“Like Mr. President said during his 2019 budget presentation at the National Assembly, the world is watching us.”

The PDP spokesman also alerted that the Kogi State government has denied the party in the state the use of Lokoja stadium for political rallies.

According to him, this is contrary to what obtains in PDP controlled state like Akwa Ibom where the governor, Udom Emmanuel, not only provided the stadium for the APC, but also ensured that the ruling party’s rally was successful.

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