Running Mate: Tinubu replies INEC on illegality of Placeholder
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has cleared the air regarding the status of the choice of his running mate.
Tinubu clarified that the former National Welfare Secretary of the APC, Kabiru Masari, remained his choice of running mate and he was not aware of any placeholder.
The clarification was made on Monday during Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, interview with Tribune Online.
There are widespread reports that the name of chieftain of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was merely submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the APC in order to beat the June 17 deadline stipulated by the electoral umpire for parties to submit names of candidates and he would soon be substituted.
INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, while speaking on Arise TV, said there was no provision for placeholder, even as he clarified that there could be substitution.
He said: “The constitution makes it very clear that you cannot run alone as a presidential candidate and must nominate an associate to run with you for that position. As far as INEC is concerned, the presidential candidates have submitted their associates to run with them in the presidential election”
However, speaking with the Tribune Online, Tunde Rahman maintained that Kabiru Masari was Tinubu’s choice of vice presidential candidate for 2023 general elections.
He said:” Without taking issues with the INEC’s National Commissioner, I just like to state the situation as it relates to the presidential candidate of the APC, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“And it is that Asíwájú Tinubu has duly completed his nomination forms, including giving the particulars of his running mate. He has returned the completed nomination forms to INEC. He even returned the forms two days ahead of schedule.
“I don’t know about a placeholder. This is the coinage of the media. I know he has picked a running mate.”
He however disclosed that consultations were still ongoing among President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu, his running mate, Masari and the APC national leadership. He noted that if Masari, on his own volition, decides to step down as vice presidential candidate within the stipulated time frame given by INEC, no provisions of the constitution and the electoral laws could be viewed to have been observed in the breach.