Tinubu says that it is legal if my VP steps down within the INEC time frame

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), gave more information about his choice of running mate, former APC National Welfare Secretary Kabiru Ibrahim Masari, last night.

He said that Masari had been properly nominated, but that he could resign within the time limit and would not have broken any known laws, rules, or regulations.

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Tinubu said that Masari was still his choice for running mate and that he had not put his name forward as a stand-in. He also said that talks with President Muhammadu Buhari and other APC stakeholders were still going on.

This is because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) warned politicians yesterday that their new idea—using placeholders to get around the deadline—was not only against the law but also against how democracies work.

It warned that there were no forms or spaces for “Place Holders” and made it clear that, as far as it was concerned, the parties running candidates for the presidential election next year had already given the names of their running mates by the July 17 deadline, as stated in the commission’s schedule of activities.

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Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner of Information and Chairman, Voter Education, made some comments on ARISE TV. In response, Tinubu’s Media Aide, Tunde Rahman, said that Masari was his boss’s choice for vice-presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, and that was still the case, even though consultations were still going on.

He said, “I don’t want to argue with the INEC National Commissioner, but I do want to tell you what’s going on with the APC’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

“And it is true that Asiwaju Tinubu has filled out his nomination papers correctly, including giving information about his running mate. He sent the filled-out nomination forms back to INEC. Even better, he turned in the forms two days early.

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“I’m not sure what a placeholder is. This is what the media say. I know he has chosen someone to run with him.”

He did say, though, that talks were still going on between President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu, his running mate Masari, and the national leadership of the APC.

Rahman, on the other hand, hinted that if Masari decides on his own to step down as a vice presidential candidate within the time frame given by INEC, no parts of the constitution or election laws would have been broken.

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He said, “I must add, though, that President Buhari, the party governors, and the leaders of the APC are still talking with Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate. If, after these talks, the running mate decides, for example, that he wants to step down for the good of the party and the country, I think it’s fair and right to let him do that as long as he does it within the limits of the electoral law and within the time frame given by INEC.

“I think it’s the running mate’s right to make his own choice and say, for example, that he wants to step down because he thinks that will be better for the candidate and the party than staying on the ticket. And that this is done according to the law and the guidelines and schedule set by INEC. This is how things are.”

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INEC said yesterday that the idea of “Place Holder” was made up by Nigerians and didn’t have a place in the constitution or any other legal basis. They also said that there was no option for this in the forms that the parties turned in.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started a five-day musical concert from yesterday, June 20, to Saturday, June 25, with the only goal of getting more people to sign up to vote in the ongoing exercise.

Okoye hinted on the ARISE Television Morning Show about how political parties could change their vice-presidential candidates, which isn’t as easy as the parties made it sound at first.

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Some of the candidates for president had sent what they called “space or place holders” to INEC.

On June 17, 2022, all 18 political parties missed the deadline to submit the names of their presidential candidates and running mates.

So, when a “place holder” is used, it is assumed that these vice-presidential candidates will be replaced later, since they were only added to beat the deadline set by the Electoral Act.

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But Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), submitted the name of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate before the deadline. Other parties, like the Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), have not yet chosen their running mates.

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So, Tinubu gave INEC the name of Masari in a last-ditch effort to meet the deadline, and Peter Obi gave INEC the name of Doyin Okupe, who was in charge of his campaign.

Okoye said that the running mates could only be changed by writing to the commission and attaching a sworn affidavit. He said, “The law says that if you want to run for president, you have to choose a running mate, and as far as the Independent National Electoral Commission is concerned, the presidential candidates have submitted their running mates to run with them in the presidential election.”

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“As far as we know, none of the presidential candidates filled out a form that said, ‘We’re putting this person’s name down as a placeholder.’ The issue of “space” or “place holder” is something that was made up in Nigeria and has no place in our constitution or laws.

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“In politics, candidates for parties have given the names of people who will run with them. This is how the law is right now, and nothing has changed. For a candidate to be replaced, the vice-presidential candidate must send a letter to INEC with a signed affidavit saying he is dropping out of the race within the time limit set by the law. That’s the only way that candidates can be switched out.”

Okoye also told THISDAY that the commission did not know of any court order to extend the registration period, but that INEC would do everything legal to encourage more people to register between June 25 and June 25. He also said that the musical campaign was meant to encourage more Nigerians to register between June 25 and June 25.

“The commission will get together at the end of June to talk about the voter registration process and figure out what to do next. As the chairman of INEC said at the musical concert in Lagos, the goal of the musical concert in Abuja is to get all potential Nigerians who have turned 18 to go register.

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Okoye also said that the musical mobilization concert was expected to go on for five business days.

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