Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has hit back at spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, who claimed the President was bias in the appointment of Mrs Amina Zakari as acting national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Presidency described Metuh’s statement as “a rehash of baseless allegations of inaction against the President,” which “also lacks any factual foundation.”
Adesina stressed that, “President Buhari certainly did not ‘overrule’ Prof Attahiru Jega in appointing Mrs Amina Zakari as the acting INEC Chairman, as Mr Metuh alleged.”
He further said in the statement that, “Prof Jega’s purported handing over to another Commissioner cannot be construed as an ‘appointment’ because only the President has the constitutional authority, which he exercised to appoint Mrs Zakari as acting Chairman of INEC.
“Contrary to Mr Metuh’s allegations, President Buhari’s appointment of Mrs Zakari as acting INEC Chariman was based entirely on merit, her vast experience in the internal operations of INEC and the President’s commitment to affirmative action in support of gender equality, because, apart from being fully qualified for the position, Mrs Zakari was the only woman among the six Commissioners considered.
“Due Process was certainly followed in Mrs Zakari’s appointment. Mr Metuh’s spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by “personal relationship with the Presidency” and a Governor in the North-West “to pave the way for the APC” at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public.
“The allegations are nothing but falsehoods contrived by Mr Metuh to unjustly denigrate a President popularly elected by Nigerians to undo the damage done to the nation by years of PDP rule.
“His claim that the PDP has rejected Mrs Zakari’s appointment is also laughable after he had admitted that the right and power of the President to make such appointments cannot be questioned.”