The acting chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Aminat Zakari, explained that she was not appointed a commissioner in the INEC by Buhari, but by the former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Zakari also said her appointment took her by surprise as she was already out of the commission’s headquarters when she was called and told she had been appointed.
She dismissed claims in some quarters that she could not perform well as the INEC boss because she is a woman, even as she said she was not desperate to keep the job.
She told The Punch: “I am a human being first. I have the capacity. If I have the ability to do something and there are ways and means of achieving your targets. You don’t rely on your brain alone. You have other people to rely on. I have done administration. I have worked in organisations that demand accountability.”
Reacting to bribery allegations against some RECs, she stated: “Everybody makes allegations about bribery, or about somebody being bribed. Anybody can make the allegation, unless it’s proven by the security agencies or the court, INEC does not take action.”
She said that the commission is awaiting reports of the police investigations into the allegations, and for security agents to provide tangible evidence against those involved.
On the rumours that Buhari is her in-law, she said: “I can’t say the General (Buhari) is my in-law. I am not married to his son. My daughter is not married to him. That is what I understand about being an in-law, but obviously, in life, you have acquaintances, people you have known,” she said.
“God decides who becomes (a) leader; if God decides I would be the one to continue, I will have to do my best. I did not lobby for it (acting chairmanship). I had packed all my things out of INEC; I wanted to leave on the 30th (of June).
“I was just called on my way home as the chairman (Jega) handed over to Ambassador Wali. When I was called that the Head of Service was looking for me and I said, ‘what for?’ and I just continued driving. I was by Bullet House by the time I got the call and I just continued driving.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party last month announced that the party would reject any election conducted under Zakari as INEC boss.