The family of the newly appointed head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre committee, Amina Zakari has said that there is no relationship between her and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ever since INEC announced Zakari as the head of the committee on Thursday, some Nigerians including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked against the decision alleging that she cannot be trusted because she’s the blood relation (niece) of the APC candidate, Buhari. PDP said:
“There is no way Amina Zakari will not allocate votes to her blood relation, President Buhari with her as head of the committee”.
Following the allegation, the Zakari family of Jigawa state has called on politicians to leave their daughter out of their politicking.
According to Vanguard, the family made this known in a statement issued by a member of the family, Isah Zakari. The statement reads:
“Contrary to the widespread belief, Amina Zakari is not a blood relation of President Muhammadu Buhari. Her mother was from Daura (born and bred in Kano) and she was not Buhari’s sister. It’s also true that Buhari’s sister was once married into the family. The union was short lived and did not produce a child. This all happened well before Mrs. Zakari was born.
“Furthermore, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, the veteran Kano politician who first made the claim that she was born by Buhari’s sister has since recanted. Those who have held on to the claim are therefore either unaware of his recantation or they are simply incapable of letting go their prejudices in the face of facts to the contrary.
“It is laughable that Mrs. Zakari who was appointed National Commissioner by former President Goodluck Jonathan under a PDP government can no longer perform any function in INEC because she is a supposed relation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The pieces of information being sold to the press about Mrs. Amina Zakari by the PDP are absolutely false, tendentious, malicious and highly reprehensible. Coming from outfits that we have the utmost respect for, makes it more excruciating for us to openly react. It is our belief that the issue of integrity should be as sacrosanct to any newspaper as it is to our family.
“Mrs. Zakari has challenged anyone with evidence against her of any misdeed to come forth and prove their case. She has now served under 3 different President’s in various capacities and has served her nation in a forthright and honest manner with the utmost humility and much sacrifice It is rather unfortunate that she has now been thrown into the limelight in a vicious campaign to reduce her accomplishments to purported blood relationship while ignoring her vast and accomplished resume.
“Mrs. Zakari attended the acclaimed Queens College on merit being first from Kano State in the Common Entrance in her graduating year from primary school. Mrs. Zakari also was one of the top students in her graduating Pharmacy B.Sc class in Ahmadu Bello University. She spent time raising a family giving birth to 5 Children while her late husband took roles of increasing capacity in UBA and Union Bank.
“She worked as a consultant for the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund but it is an absolute falsehood that she was appointed to that role by President Buhari. She started as a sub-consultant of Afri Projects Consortium and was eventually promoted to the Health portfolio for the Consortium after the departure of the late Dr. Aminu Safana (whom she worked for) when he joined partisan politics in 1999. She also served as Executive Secretary for Health in the FCT Administration under the Obasanjo administration’s second term.
“She is one of the most accomplished election experts in Nigeria with 2 elections under her belt (2011,2015). To our knowledge, President Buhari didn’t even attend the Council of States meeting where her nomination for INEC was presented by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“What is unfortunate is instead of celebrating an accomplished woman to support diversity in our polity and groom our future female leaders, we are stuck on belittling Mrs. Zakari’s accomplishments to mere familial ties. If we begin to harangue and harass our officials for family ties (which they do not control) over competence we shall have no one to serve. A cursory review of INEC and other institutions will reveal a wealth of family and professional ties and contradictions, does that mean everyone should resign?
“While we have tremendous respect for the role of the media in our national development, we expect that media organizations whose promoters project themselves as respecters of the rights of others should always get their facts right and present incontrovertible facts. “Enough is enough leave our mother, daughter, sister alone to serve the nation as she has done so diligently over her life and career.”
Amina Zakari, in an interview with BBC News Yoruba, has said that she is not related in any way to President Buhari.