Politics

We can’t say if Osinbajo will be Buhari’s running mate in 2019- Presidency

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The Presidency says it cannot confirm for now who President Muhammadu Buhari’s official choice for running mate would be ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu,  said Buhari would only name his running mate for the 2019 presidential election after he might have emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Shehu made the comments while responding to questions from the Punch on whether or not Buhari would pick Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate and why he did not make his position known while declaring his interest at the party’s NEC meeting on Monday.

Shehu explained that only candidates in elections nominated running mates and Buhari had yet to become a candidate but was only still an aspirant.

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He recalled that Buhari nominated Osinbajo as his running mate for the 2015 presidential election at the point when, as the then candidate of the APC, he wanted to file his nomination with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The presidential spokesman added, “There is a way these things are done. When was the Vice President nominated for the ticket? If you recall, it was in December 2014 after President Buhari won the party primary. It was done at the point of filing nomination form.

“As a matter of fact, the nomination form was filed with Vice President Osinbajo’s name less than 24 hours to the closure.

“I am not an expert in this matter but my sense is that candidates nominate running mates. President Buhari is not officially a candidate yet. He has just signified his intention to seek party nomination.

“It is after winning the ticket that you will expect him to name his running mate for the contest. That’s the requirement, he can’t run alone.

“Though I have not been briefed on this, this is my assumption. My view is that it is not the norm that you name a running mate when you are not a candidate.”

Buhari had shortly before he travelled to the United Kingdom on Monday told NEC members that he would be seeking re-election based on Nigerians’ clamour for him to so do.

 

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