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Atiku-Okowa ticket: Group says choice of running mate constitutional

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The Centre for Integrity and Good Governance (CIGG) says the choice of the running mate for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is constitutional.

Atiku had after emerging the presidential candidate of the PDP picked Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.

The CIGG convener, Mr Waheed Aderibigbe, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

Aderibigbe said that it was shocking that some Nigerians would jettison the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic.

He said that some Nigerians had chosen to play to the gallery or even base their argument on emotional sentiments.

Aderibigbe said that the most any political party could do was to present names of probable candidates to a standard bearer, from which he or she could pick the vice-presidential candidate of his or her choice.

According to him, Section 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that: ”In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Chapter relate, a candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from the same political party for his running for the office of President, who is to occupy the office of Vice-President”.

It further states that: ”And that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of Vice-President if the candidate for an election to the office of President, who nominated him as such associate is duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions aforesaid”.

Aderibigbe said that Atiku in fidelity to the extant law exercised this power and privilege, which the constitution vested on him.

He said that any input from the party stakeholders, including the National Working Committee, the Board of Trustees (BoT), elders of the party, among others, was advisory.

The CIGG convener faulted the comments of the Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue state, who said that the party would had picked Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as Atiku’s running mate.

”Atiku Abubakar has shown respect for the rule of law by following the provision of Section 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended in choosing his running mate.

“He should be applauded for abiding by the law and making his choice as demanded by the Constitution.

”The input or suggestion from any of the stakeholders in his party remains advisory, the onus to finally pick one person out of many rests on the candidate, not the party,” he said.

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