LAGOS—THE Centre for Integrity and Good Governance, CIGG, has said the choice of who becomes his running mate was the constitutional prerogative of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Atiku had after he emerged presidential candidate of the PDP picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.

CIGG in a statement, yesterday, in Lagos by its Convener, Mr. Waheed Aderibigbe and Co-convener, Mr. Obinna Ukariaku, said it was shocked that some Nigerians would jettison the provision of the constitution and choose to play to the gallery or even base their argument on emotional sentiments.

They  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 group said Atiku in fidelity to the extant law exercised this power and privilege, which the constitution vested in him, stressing that any input from the party stakeholders including the National Working Committee, the Board of Trustees, BoT, elders of the party, among others, was advisory.

It faulted the comments of the Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who said the party would have picked Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as Atiku’s running mate.

CIGG said: “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 said.

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