By Uche Mbah
Following the scandal of the appointment of Amina Zakari as the head of Election Collation arm of the Commission, a top level strategic meeting was called for by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Lagos.
The Meeting, which held on Sunday, January 6, was said to be geared towards the checkmating of the desperation that seem to be marking the actions of the ruling party in recent times.
Recall that Amina Zakari, hitherto the Director of Health in INEC, has been appointed the Coordinator of INEC Collation of results for the 2019 Presidential elections, despite cries of blood ties with a sitting president. But the Presidency has denied that she is the niece of Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC, but accepted that she is in effect his step niece. This has resulted in a loud backlash against the action of Mahmoud Yakubu, particularly as there were reports that he with Zakari had a nocturnal meeting with the presidency before the announcement of her appointment. Zakari herself told a forign media outfi that she is not related to the president but that the president is “my leader”
Although it is not clear if Zakari is a card carrying member of the ruling party, Buhari is the National leader of APC by virtue of his being the highest serving elected officer of the ruling party.
The main opposition party,the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked the National Peace initiative coordianator, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the international community to step in and save the situation as, according to them, her appointment has confirmed a rigging template of the ruling party.
The meeting, called at the instance of the former president Obasanjo, has the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar in attendance, as well as the Senate President Bukola Saraki. They were said to have appraised the issue of the leaked tape of the current minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, where he criticized the president in unflatering terms. “Part of the meeting dealt with strategies of countering the activities of the security agencies and INEC, who have not hidden the partisan nature of their activities”, a source told this Magazine.
Besides the INEC scandal, the security agencies have suddenly become hyperactive. Recently, the Nigerian army sealed the offices of Daily Trust Newspapers both in Maiduguri and Abuja, accusing them of leaking information about how they intend to reclaim lost towns. The Army had denied that they lost any town at all. There were no indications that they were searching for who might have leaked such a vital information to the press.
The police has been hounding senator Dino Malaye about a crime he was said to have committed months ago. There were rumors of the security agencies muzzling the press through inducements and intimidation.
The Ruling Party, APC, seem to be in an internal crisis following the revelations by the Minister of Transport. In fact, this magazine was informed of overtures being made by President Buhari to meet with former President Obasanjo one on one. The agenda of the meeting, however, is not clear.
Obasanjo, a former president, is said to have widw reaching international influence, and is said to be using that in furtherance of the opposition cause.