The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, is still meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leadership on the choice of running mate despite submitting the name of a former National Welfare Secretary of the APC, Kabiru Ibrahim Masari, to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, confirmed this on Monday in an interview on ARISE TV.
He stated that Masari could choose to step down within a stipulated time, and would not have breached any known laws, rules or regulations, if he so wished.
He therefore disclosed that consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders of the ruling APC were still ongoing regarding the issue.
This is coming a day after the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), issued a warning to politicians, noting their new invention – the use of placeholder – to sidestep its deadline was not only unknown to law, but alien to democratic practice.
INEC said that there were no rooms for Place Holders, stating categorically that as far as it was concerned, the parties fielding candidates for next year’s presidential election, had submitted the names of their running mates as at the July 17 deadline as contained in the schedule of activities by the commission.
Tinubu’s aide Rahman, while reaching to INEC’s stand on placeholder, that Masari was his principal’s choice of vice-presidential candidate for 2023 general election and the situation remained so, despite ongoing consultations.
He said, “Without taking issues with the INEC National Commissioner, I just like to state the situation as it relates to the presidential candidate of the APC, Tinubu. And it is that 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.
“I must add, however, that there are ongoing consultations involving President Buhari, the party’s governors and the APC leadership with 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 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.”