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Tinubu: If My VP Nominee Steps Down Within Timeframe There Will Be No Breach

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Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, last night, cleared the air about the status of his choice running mate, a former National Welfare Secretary of the APC, Kabiru Ibrahim Masari, whom he insisted was duly nominated, but could choose to step down within stipulated time, and would not have breached any known laws, rules or regulations.

Tinubu, who maintained that Masari remained his choice as running mate and also denied sending his name in as a place holder, however, said consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders of the ruling APC were still ongoing.

This is as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, fired warning shots at politicians, saying their new invention – the use of place holder – to sidestep its deadline was not only unknown to law, but alien to democratic practice.

It warned that there were no forms or space in its forms for Place Holders, stating categorically that as far as it was concerned, the parties fielding candidates for next year’s presidential election, have submitted the names of their running mates as at the July 17 deadline as contained in the schedule of activities by the commission.

Responding to comments by INEC’s National Commissioner of Information and Chairman, Voter Education, Festus Okoye, while on ARISE TV, Tinubu’s Media Aide, Tunde Rahman, maintained 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, 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, reiterated that consultations were still ongoing between President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu, his running mate, Masari and the APC national leadership.

Conversely,  Rahman hinted 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.

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