From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) have submitted pseudo names as presidential running mates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to beat the Friday deadline issued by the commission.
While the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, picked Kabir Ibrahim Masari, a Katsina politician, as a placeholder for his running mate, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of LP, submitted the name of Doyin Okupe as his running mate to meet up with INEC deadline.
Though no information from the electoral umpire to confirm the development, Okupe, a former president spokesperson, made the disclosure.
According to him; “Choosing the vice presidential candidate is an electoral process and it does not stop until the process and schedule ends.”
As the case with the ruling party, where Tinubu submitted Masari, Okupe noted that he might be replaced later, stressing: “INEC allows you to present a candidate and later on, if you want to substitute, you may do so, if necessary. But if it’s not necessary, you may as well continue.
“So the present situation is that we believe that this Labour party that is essentially going to be about young Nigerians.
“Those of us who have been part and parcel of our sordid past must be prepared to pay the sacrifice, even the personal sacrifice, of allowing a situation we can lift our youths to positions of power and authority. I am willing to put down my back, so that young people can stand and come to the top,” he noted.
A member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) had disclosed that “Masari was picked as a dummy pending the resolution of some issues on the running mate.”
In a statement issued by the APC candidate, read; “as stipulated by the electoral law and Independent National Electoral Commission guidelines and timetable, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, HE Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has returned his duly completed nomination nomination forms to INEC.
“The forms were returned on Wednesday June 15, two days ahead of schedule. We wish to reiterate that HE Asíwájú Tinubu stands ready to contest the February 25, 2023 presidential election to deliver progressive good governance to our people.”
All efforts to get the reaction of the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, to confirm other names proved abortive as he failed to pick or return the calls put across to him.