Beside authorized and official statements of denial by President Muhammadu Buhari and Amina Zakari, three interventions should help clear the confusion and misinformation surrounding the appointment of Amina Zakari to the INEC collation centre.
One was by a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Abdul Mahmud, whose Twitter handle name goes by ‘Great Oracle’. The second is from a fierce anti-Buharist, Chima Amadi. And finally, Dr Joe Abah, the former Director-General of the Bureau for Public Service Reforms.
These interventions were similar in tone and same in meaning, to the effect that Amina Zakari was not going to be in charge of the collation centre as suggested by the PDP and amplified on social media.
Those who had seen her new assignment as fresh evidence of a substantive move to rig the coming polls seem to have relied on misconstrued information taken to be facts.
As a matter of fact, Amina Zakari will not lead the counting or declaration of votes for the ballots to be cast in 40 days time. Ms Zakari has been at INEC nearly a decade before the Buhari administration. All facts point to her not being involved in any sensitive process in the elections. The other matter of her being a niece to the President is not proven. There is simply no evidence to the effect and the fact that attention has shifted to her calling Buhari her leader shows desperation to see something stick.
Misinformation is easy to spread. In the current mood, everything that seems suspect will be amplified for gain to whom it benefits. But the non-partisan observer does not have to swallow it as cooked; there can always be a way of separating signal from noise. It is notable that of the three interventions highlighted above, two come from among the pool of the fiercest anti-Buhari and pro-Atiku commentators in this election cycle. Yet, they made sure to create threads to debunk the false news.
Emotions of politics are transient, but facts are sacred and always relevant. Regardless of the disillusionment with the present administration, it is important to remember there is always the possibility of a worse administration in future. In those times, there will be need to refer to truths of yesteryears to reveal falsehoods when they are persuasively argued.
Our children and grandchildren deserve the truth as basis for their choices and discussions. Moreover, it would be thoroughly embarrassing if they realize that, for political gains, which are temporary, we gave credence to false narratives.
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