BusinessDay

Tinubu, Atiku, others have one week to pick running mate or risk invalidation

...as submission of presidential candidates ends next Friday

Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress; Atiku Abubakar, flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party; Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, standard bearers of the Labour Party and New Nigerian Peoples Party as well as candidates of other parties vying for presidency have one week to pick their running mates for their nominations to be valid.

This is as the submission of candidates for national election ends next week Friday and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) directed that a list of all presidential and governorship candidates must come with running mates without which
their nomination will be invalid.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman who stated this at a meeting with states resident electoral commissioners in Abuja on Thursday, said only candidates who emerged from democratic primaries as stipulated by the Electoral Act 2022 should be submitted to the commission.

Yakubu reminded political parties that all primary elections end today ( Thursday) and advised them to start submission of names of candidates for national elections this Friday (tomorrow) and not to wait for the deadline.

He said for state elections (Governorship/Deputy Governorship and State Houses of Assembly), the list of candidates shall be uploaded from 1st to 15th July 2022.

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The INEC chairman said: “All Political Parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP).

“To achieve this objective, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal. Confidential Access Codes to the portal have already been given to each Political Party to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.

“For emphasis, the Commission wishes to remind Political Parties that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Sec. 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the Commission.

“Similarly, the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid. All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines.

“The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections.

“With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election.”

Yakubu said one of the reasons why the meeting with the resident electoral commissioners was convened was to review the ongoing continuous voter registration as the June 30 deadline approaches

“As the deadline for the suspension of the current exercise approaches, the Commission has received reports of a surge in the number of prospective registrants that daily throng our State and Local Government Area offices as well as designated centres in many States across the country.

“I wish to reassure Nigerians that the Commission remains committed to ensuring that all citizens who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so. This is one of the reasons why this meeting has been convened.

“Already, some of the Resident Electoral Commissioners have requested for more voter registration machines to ease the congestion. The Commission will deploy additional machines to areas of need immediately.

“Thereafter, the Commission will meet to review the progress of the exercise and take further decisions. We will always respond positively to the needs of Nigerians and therefore appeal to all citizens to be patient with the Commission as we strive to serve them better,” he said.