Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari has defended the appointment of Amina Zakari as the acting chairperson of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the wake of concerns raised by the opposition.
The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Femi Adesina, said that “due process” was followed.
“We have noted with regret, the latest tirade against President Muhammadu Buhari issued today by the PDP's Spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh,” Adesina said.
“Other than boring reporters at his press conference with a rehash of baseless allegations of inaction against the President, Mr Metuh clearly had nothing new to say apart from his charge of nepotism and partisanship in the appointment of the Acting INEC Chairman, which also lacks any factual foundation.”
He added that President Buhari did not "overrule" Professor Attahiru Jega, whose tenure ended June 30, in appointing Zakari.
“Professor Jega's purported handing over to another Commissioner cannot be construed as an "appointment" because only the President has the constitutional authority, which he exercised to appoint Mrs Zakari as acting Chairman of INEC,” Adesina added.
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The presidential aide said contrary to Metuh's allegations, Buhari's appointment of Zakari was based entirely on merit.
He said her vast experience in the internal operations of INEC and the President's commitment to affirmative action in support of gender equality, because, apart from being fully qualified for the position, Zakari was the only woman among the six Commissioners considered.
“Due Process was certainly followed in Mrs Zakari's appointment. Metuh's spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by "personal relationship with the Presidency" and a Governor in the North-West "to pave the way for the APC" at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public,” Adesina said.
He noted that the allegations were falsehoods Metuh contrived to unjustly denigrate Buhari.
“His claim that the PDP has rejected Zakari's appointment is also laughable after he had admitted that the right and power of the President to make such appointments cannot be questioned.”
- CAJ News