Mrs Amina Zakari, Chairman of the INEC Committee on Collation Centre for the general elections, has rejected claims that she is related to President Muhammadu Buhari.
This comes in the wake of controversy generated after her appointment to the crucial role by INEC ahead of next month’s presidential election.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is my President as [he is] everybody else’s President. He is not my cousin, he is not my uncle as is being claimed,” she said in an interview with theBBC.
The Peoples Democratic Party and other political parties have rejected her appointment, insisting that she is related to the President and the move is part of the plot to rig the elections.
But she joins INEC chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu and the presidency in rejecting the claims, noting that she was first appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 and served as a Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo prior to that.
“I have done my job conscientiously over the years as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria,” she said.
“I don’t think I should be distracted now that elections are coming forward. I will continue doing my work. I will continue serving my country to the best of my ability with the best of intentions.”
Mrs Zakari recalled that she had been part of INEC when Jonathan defeated Buhari in the 2011 Presidential election and challenged anyone who had any evidence of wrongdoing against her to come forward with evidence.
Beyond denying claims that she is related to the President, she suggested that it was impossible for her to influence an election monitored by thousands.
“I don’t think I should worry about this because I am one single person out of 16,000 staff, of about a million ad hoc staff that will run the election. I can’t see how I can get powers to influence an election as a single individual,” Mrs Zakari said.
Watch the full interview here.