The acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mrs. Amina Zakari, has refuted speculations in some quarters that she is desperate to be named the substantive chairman of INEC.
Mrs. Zakari, whose tenure as national commissioner expired on July 22, sparking controversy over her continued stay as head of the electoral body, said that even if her appointment is not eventually confirmed, she has made history as the first woman to be appointed acting chairman of INEC.
Cutting in on a question that was asked: “Your adversaries believe that you want to get the job at all cost”, she said: “No, no, no. I am not desperate and I don’t have to get the job at all cost. I think even if I don’t get the job, I have made history as the first acting female chairman of INEC.
Within this period, have I done anything good? Have I done anything to improve the process? Even if it is a two-day job, somebody has to do it and I happen to be the one doing it. If somebody is asked to come and take over, I will willingly hand over to that person. I am not desperate”.
The INEC boss went on to state that she “has been a widow in the last 15 years, no man or anyone will say I have ever knocked on his door to seek help to take care of my children. I was brought up with decency and I have tried my best to preserve and protect my integrity”.
Responding to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s criticism of her appointment and whether the opposition party’s call for her removal is justified, Zakari was categorical that in politics, everything is justified.
Her words, “I don’t have a quarrel with them. I have worked very well with them being in charge of political parties. And at that time, there was no single complaint about me. Normally, you see somebody’s name being mentioned in petitions, but in all the four years, there was no time any political party or faction mentioned me in person as doing something to influence any of their activities.
“You would see tons of complaints and petitions from political parties. They would put our directors and everybody in the papers. Did you ever see my name crop up? That was the most sensitive and difficult assignment in INEC and I did it for four years. So for PDP to be saying they don’t like my appointment, that is politics,” she stated.