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INEC chairman, Zakari denies marrying Buhari’s son

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Amina zakari

Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amina Zakari has denied marrying one of the sons of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Zakari in an interview on Saturday debunked rumours that she is an in-law to Buhari, saying she is not married to any of Buhari’s son or any of her daughters married to Buhari.

She also dismissed insinuations that she lobbied to be appointed the acting Chairman of the commission after the expiration of the tenure of the former Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega.

She said she was appointed into the position being the most senior commissioner in the commission when Jega retired.

Zakari said she had already packed out her things from INEC as she was also due for retirement a month later before she was appointed as the acting head of the commission.

“I did not lobby for it. I had packed all my things out of INEC and wanted to take a leave for the remaining three weeks. I was on my way home when I was told the head of service was looking for me, and I said what for?

I just continued driving. I was almost home when they said, ‘Come back, you have a letter to be the acting Chairman.’

I said, ‘but somebody was appointed in the morning, take the letter to INEC.’ But they said, ‘It is in your name. You have to come and receive it.

While I was still arguing, my driver decided to turn round. I called the former chairman and he said, ‘Go pick the letter.’

I was confused and worried because it is an enormous responsibility and I wasn’t really expecting it.

I picked the letter and came back to the office the next day in a sober mood. I know the only thing left to do is to consolidate on the gains within this acting period; just maintain an administrative structure, try to keep the commission running administratively and then let’s see what happens, since I know the problems of the commission in terms of business processes”.

She noted that she is not bothered about the criticism trailing her appointment, particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

She stated that she was surprised that the PDP is kicking against her appointment, saying she had worked very well with the party before as the National Commissioner in charge of political parties.

“And at that time, there was no single complaint about me. Normally, you see somebody’s name being mentioned in petitions, but in all the four years, there was no time any political party or faction mentioned me in person as doing something to influence any of their activities.

You would see tons of complaints and petitions from political parties. They would put our directors and everybody in the papers. Did you ever see my name crop up?

That was the most sensitive and difficult assignment in INEC and I did it for four years. So for PDP to be saying they don’t like my appointment, that is politics”, she added.

On whether the outcry from the PDP will affect her chances of being confirmed as the substantive Chairman of the commission, Zakari said if God decides that she would be the one to continue, she will have to do my best..

She stated that  people should not get distracted by this ‘family or no family’  issue rather they should e bothered about whether she is competent to do the job.

 

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Kwankwaso denies rift with Shekarau

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The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP),  Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has said there is no rift between him and the former Governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau.

Kwankwaso who said this in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service said the reports going on that there is a problem with Ibrahim Shekarau are not true and are rumours by mischief makers for the reasons known to them.

Kwankwaso said this while responding to some reports that Senator Shekarau is planning to return to the PDP because the party failed to fulfil the promises made to them before he joined the NNPP.

“There was no agreement between us and Shekarau apart from giving some political positions to his people which we tried to fulfil but there is nothing we can do because it was brought late”.

According to him, most of those brought by Shekarau to get a seat in the NNPP joined the party at a time when INEC would not accept their candidacy because the primary election was over.

He, however, assured that when the Government is formed, they will get key positions.

Senator Kwankwaso added that this will not cause any problem for the NNPP party saying that there is no problem between him and Shekarau.

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Details of Tinubu’s meeting with Obasanjo emerge

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Tinubu meets Obasanjp

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday visited the Penthouse residence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.

Tinubu visited Obasanjo in company of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbaajabiamila, Chief Bisi Akande and Nuhu Ribadu.

At about 1pm when Tinubu’s chopper landed within the OOPL, he was received by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, former Governors Segun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo and other top government functionaries.

At about 1:20pm, Tinubu and his entourage went into Obasanjo’s residence to meet their host.

An inside source said the former Lagos State Governor, Abiodun, Gbajabiamila, Osoba, Akande, Ribadu and others first held a meeting with the Balogun Owu behind closed doors.

After about an hour, the former President pulled Tinubu and they both went into a private room for another meeting.

It was gathered that the duo had a private discussion not known to any of those who went in with the APC national leader.

Tinubu later had lunch at Obasanjo’s place before he departed after about two hours.

When he was accosted by pressmen downstairs, the presidential candidate refused to grant an interview as he ‘hopped’ into the waiting bus that conveyed him to the MKO Abiola Stadium.

Tens of APC stalwarts had stormed the former President’s residence, singing, drumming and dancing.

Addressing artisans and APC faithful at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Tinubu said he was not in Ogun State for campaign.

He said: “We love what the governor is doing and we are glad with all the support you have given him. Campaign has not started yet, I’m just here to greet you. Thank you and God bless you. God bless Ogun state, God bless Nigeria, God bless your children. Thank you.”

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2023: I will tell you who to vote for as my successor – Wike tells Rivers people

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has said he will inform Rivers people who to vote as the next governor of the state in he 2023 general elections.

Wike said as a governor, he knows all the candidates for the elections so well.

He said he loves Rivers State a lot and as such will not allow the people make a mistake in electing their leaders in 2023.

Wike was speaking at the commissioning of the remodelled Waterlines Building in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

He said “we will tell you those you will vote for, I know and I will tell you who is who.

“Most of you don’t know, there are those who want to come here to just want to be governor with no agenda.

“Rivers State has done a lot of things for us, we owe Rivers state a lot. Personally, I owe this state a lot for giving me the opportunity and I will not allow this state to go astray and run into the hands of armed robbers. I will not allow it”.

The governor also took a swipe at some members of the People’s Democratic Party who he warned that elections are not won in the hotels in Abuja but at the grassroots.

2023: I will tell you who to vote for – Wike tells Rivers people

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