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5 Jan 2019

Buhari-Zakari Controversy Threatens Peace Accord As Opposition Parties Vow To Pull Out

Opposition parties under the aegis the Coalition of United Political Parties, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, the Peoples Democratic Party and other stakeholders in the 2019 elections have again called for the removal of Amina  Zakari as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Ad hoc Committee on National Collation Centre.

They threatened to pull out of the Peace Accord initiated by the Gen Abdusalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee if Zakari’s appointment was not reversed.

This came just as Presidency and INEC denied on Friday that the President and Zakari were blood relations as alleged by the PDP and other stakeholders.

The coalition spoke in a statement by its first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, on Thursday.

Ugochinyere said, “The desperation of the President must be reined in now before it is too late. We categorically reject this appointment and will consider very drastic measures including pulling out of the peace accord which does not repose a commensurate responsibility of the President to allow INEC conduct  credible, free and fair elections.

IPAC also called on INEC to immediately rescind the appointment of Zakari as the chairperson of the committee on National Collation Centre.

IPAC is the body officially recognised by INEC to speak on behalf of all political parties in the country.

Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the President of IPAC, Mr. Peter Ameh, asked INEC to remove Zakari for the sake of transparency and fairness.

But the Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, noted that there was no blood link between Buhari and Zakari.

“President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari don’t share a family relationship. An inter-marriage occurred in their extended families; so the imputation of blood relationship between the President and the electoral commissioner is a simple lie.

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