2023: I Have Chosen My Running Mate – Tinubu
The All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu on Monday affirmed that he has chosen his running mate, Kabiru Masari ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The media aide to the former Governor of Lagos State, Tunde Rahman revealed this in a chat with Tribune.
There had been claims that Masari was picked as a placeholder to give the party more time to pick an appropriate vice presidential candidate.
Recall that the INEC Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, on Monday during an interview on Arise TV said the law does not support an idea of a placeholder.
Okoye while speaking on the issue of placeholder 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.
“As far as we are concerned, there’s no form submitted by the presidential candidate where they said ‘we’re submitting this person’s name as a place or space holder.
“The issue of space or place holder is a unique Nigerian invention that has no place in our constitutional and legal framework.
“Political parties’ candidates have submitted names of associates to run with them, and that is the position of the law as of today and nothing has changed. For there to be a substitution of a candidate, the vice-presidential candidate must write to INEC, with an affidavit stating that he is withdrawing from the race within the time frame provided by the law. That’s the only way there can be a substitution of candidates.”
Rahman while reacting to the statement stated that Masari remains Tinubu’s running mate.
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.”
Rahman, however, stated that there is an ongoing consultation among President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu, his running mate, Masari and APC governors.
He noted that if Masari decides to step down in the interest of the party it is according to the law.
Rahman added, “I must add, however, that there are ongoing consultations involving President Buhari, the party’s governors and the APC leadership with Asíwájú Tinubu and his running mate. If following these consultations, the running mate decides for instance that he wants to stand down in the interest of the party and the country, I think it’s only fair and appropriate to allow him to deal with that as long as it is done within the spheres of the electoral law and the timeframe for that given by INEC.
“I think it’s within the prerogative of the running mate to take his own decision and to say for instance that he would like to stand down because he feels doing so will serve the candidate and the party better than he remaining on the ticket. And that this is done in line with the provision of the law and INEC guidelines and timetable. This is the way it is.”