Kogi And Beyelsa Elections: Litmus Test For Zakari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Kogi And Beyelsa Elections: Litmus Test For Zakari

Posted: Sep 16, 2015 at 12:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Magnus Ugwubujor


Political watchers are at the moment beaming their search light on Kogi and Bayelsa States whose gubernatorial elections have been slated for November 21 and December 3 respectively. But one thing which has been a subject of controversy about the upcoming elections is the capability of the Acting Chairman of the electoral umpire, Mrs Amina  Zakari to coduct the elections.

man-in-the-newsAs a matter of fact, Zakari’s appointment after the erstwhile Chairman of the electoral body, Prof. Atahiru Jega completed his tenure on June 30, 2015 has continued to elicit some heated controversy among the political parties. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for instance, has continued to throw their rejection stones on President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to appoint Mrs Zakari to pilot the affairs of INEC. PDP reportedly claimed it has enough evidence to show that Mrs Zakari has strong relationship with Mr President which may end up rubbishing the integrity and independence of the conduct of the two states elections. PDP, through its spokesman, Olisa Metuh alleged that Mrs Zakari was deliberately “appointed to conduct the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Although, most political pundits have not been able to establish the veracity of this claim, Mrs Zakari has come out to debunk this relationship claim. However, analysts say that if actually Mrs Zakari is related to Buhari in any way, it would certainly bring the integrity of the INEC as well as the outcome of the Kogi and Bayelsa elections to question. More so, there is a legal perspective to this. The question is, is it legal for an Acting Chairman of INEC to conduct elections? There have been several arguments for and against this subject. But INEC Deputy-Director (Publicity), Nick Dazang, has said there are no legal implications in Hajiya Amina Zakari conducting the elections in the two states. What this implies is that whether confirmed as substantive Chairman of INEC or not, by the Senate in the build up to the Kogi and Beyelsa gubernatorial elections, observers say that this would certainly serve as a litmus test for her in terms of her capacity, and credibility to pilot the affairs of the electoral body effectively. Moreover, the outcome of the elections will deflate all the arguments about her eligibility. 

Amina Bala Zakari, a pharmacist by profession hails from Jigawa State. She completed her Secondary Education from the prestigious Queens College Yaba, Lagos. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.sc) degree in Pharmacy with Second Class upper in 1980 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

She has worked as a Professional Pharmacist in various hospitals from 1983 – 1996. She then moved into the consultancy field to serve in various capacities as a consultant in Health. She has also served as a Special Assistant to the President and was posted to FCT where she served as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Social Development and Agriculture and Rural Development from 2004 – 2007. Before her appointment as the Acting Chairman of INEC, she served as National Commissioner of INEC.