A National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Amina Zakari, has dismissed reports that she is a blood relation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Peoples Democratic Party and other political groups as well as individuals had alleged that Zakari, who was, on Thursday, named by the commission as its Chairman, Advisory Committee and Presidential Election Collation Centre Committee, was a niece of Buhari.
They, therefore, submitted that she was not qualified to preside over the collation of the presidential poll’s results.
By virtue of her position, she will coordinate the collation of results for the February 16 presidential poll, in which Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the election, will contest the presidential ticket for a second term in office.
The Presidency has however debunked the allegation that Zakari is a blood relation to the President. It also explained that the national commissioner was appointed to INEC during the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PDP, the Inter-Party Advisory Council and several political parties had called on INEC to rescind the appointment of Zakari as the chairman of the committee on National Collation Centre.
But in an interview with the BBC, which was aired on Saturday, however, Zakari, who is a former acting Chairman of INEC, said she had served as a special adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
She further stated that she was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as an INEC commissioner and she had done the job diligently for the last eight years.
Zakari added, “I’m not his (Buhari) niece; I am not his cousin and, on this job, I was appointed since 2010 by President Jonathan. Prior to that, I was appointed as SA to President Obasanjo and I have done my work conscientiously over the years as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria.
“I don’t think I should be distracted now that elections are coming. I will continue doing my work. I will continue to serve my country to the best of my ability with the best of intentions. President Muhammadu Buhari is my President as everybody else’s President.
“He is not my cousin; he is not my uncle as is being claimed but I know him as my leader and the leader of the nation.”