The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that an INEC national commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, is related to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The opposition party made the assertion in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.
It was responding to an earlier statement in which the Presidency said although an inter-marriage occurred in their extended families, the claim of blood relationship between the President and Zakari was a lie.
The Presidency had issued the statement in reaction to the controversy trailing the appointment of Mrs Zakari as the chairperson of the collation centre committee for the general elections.
Reacting to the clarification by INEC on the role of Zakari in the polls, the PDP stated, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s admittance that he has an inter-marriage relationship with Mrs Amina Zakari has vindicated its stance that she cannot be trusted with the collation of the presidential election results.”
The party asked the President to respond criticism by second republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, about two years ago that he allegedly pushed for the appointment of Zakari to represent his interest at the commission.
It alleged further that in addition to the relationship by affinity, President Buhari has not denied that he started his early childhood in the house of the INEC official’s father.
“President Buhari’s admittance has effectively established that the PDP has not been crying wolf on the impropriety of involving Mrs Amina Zakari in the collation of presidential election results, let alone being appointed to head the final determination of the presidential election,” the PDP said.
“Even in the judiciary, judges recuse themselves in cases involving parties they have an affinity with. Mrs. Amina Zakari must, therefore, recuse herself, if the 2019 presidential election must be credible.”
The opposition party queried why the President supposedly insisted that Zakari must be in INEC if there was no ulterior motive being pushed.
It, therefore, challenged President Buhari to allow INEC to have a free hand to conduct the elections, to test his popularity among Nigerians.
“Nigerians expect her to quietly resign from INEC,” the PDP told Zakari.
While President Buhari has since insisted that he would continue to ensure the independence of the electoral body, Mrs Zakari told BCC in an interview that she is not a blood relation to the President.