The Oasis Reporters
February 18, 2019
Right on the heels of the failed logistics efforts that made the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to postpone the presidential and national assembly elections, barely a few hours before commencement to the consternation of the nation, the agency has made a new move to deploy Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu as head of the electoral operations which includes logistics. This move shows that Amina Zakari has been reshuffled to another position.
Okechukwu Ibeanu is a Professor of Political Science and was also Dean, Faculty of the Social Sciences at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was also special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the adverse effects of illicit movement and dumping of toxic waste on human rights.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini, technically dropped this information, calling for an end to criticism and complaints targeted at Mrs Amina Zakari following the postponement of Nigeria’s general elections on account of logistic challenges.
He however said nothing about Mrs Zakari’s staff in the chain of command that failed the system.
Mrs Zakari, one of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s National Commissioners, had been blamed for the logistic challenges that led the commission to shift the elections by a week with critics claiming that she oversees electoral operations and logistics.
Speaking as a guest on Sunday Politics, a
Channels Television interview program, Mr Igini said Amina Zakari was being wrongly targeted and called on citizens to make more effort in verifying claims. He however was silent on when the change was made, and who should be held accountable for the failure of logistics, whether it is Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu or Amina Zakari.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians that, this time, let us not just be name-calling without fact-checking some of the things people talk about. Amina Zakari is no longer the Chairperson of electoral operations,” he said. Surprised Nigerians have been asking when Amina Zakari ceased to be the chairperson of the electoral operations.
He further added that issues concerning arrangements for NYSC, and the welfare of ad hoc staff fell under him.
Mrs Zakari, who is the Chairman of the INEC Committee on Collation Centre for the general elections, has been the subject of controversy before now with the opposition alleging that she is related to President Muhammadu Buhari and some calling for her resignation, allegations the Commission rejected.
Saturday, February 23 has been fixed as the rescheduled date for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Governorship and House of Assembly elections will hold two weeks after.
Additional reporting from Channels TV.