Centre says Constitution covers Atiku-Okowa ticket, berates Ortom
Center for Integrity and Good Governance (CIGG) has said the choice of who becomes his running mate is the constitutional prerogative of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Atiku had, after he emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP, picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
The centre, in a press statement issued, yesterday, in Lagos by its convener, Mr. Waheed Aderibigbe and co-convener, Mr. Obinna Ukariaku, said it was shocking that some Nigerians would jettison the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and base their argument on emotional sentiments.
The CIGG, which says one of its goals is to promote democratic and electoral literacy, explained that the most any political party can do are to present names of probable candidates to a standard-bearer from which he or she can pick the vice-presidential candidate of his or her choice.
It cited Section 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which states: “In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Chapter relate, a candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from the same political party for his running for the office of President, who is to occupy the office of vice-president and that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of vice-president if the candidate for an election to the office of President, who nominated him as such associate, is duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions aforesaid.”
The centre faulted comments by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, who said the party would have picked Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers as Atiku’s running mate.
The statement reads: “Atiku Abubakar has shown respect for the rule of law by following the provision of Section 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended in choosing his running mate. He should be applauded for abiding by the law and making his choice as demanded by the constitution.
“The input or suggestion from any of the stakeholders in his party remains advisory, the onus to finally pick one person out of many rests on the candidate, not the party,” the statement reads.
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