The Labour Party vice-presidential candidate or placeholder Doyin Okupe has officially submitted a request of withdrawal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Furthermore, the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, popularly regarded as the third force in the 2023 election, have announced Senator Yusuf Datti Ahmed as the vice-presidential candidate.
- The Labour Party submitted Doyin Okupe as the running mate to Peter Obi to meet INEC’s deadline, which directed all parties with presidential candidates to submit a list of their respective candidates for electable positions by 6pm of June 17th.
- Nigeria’s ruling party, the All-Progressive Congress (APC) also submitted a placeholder as a running mate while the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) submitted Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the party’s presidential running mate.
Legalities of Placeholders
INEC has stated that there is no provision in the Electoral Act of 2022 for placeholders. Therefore, the names submitted against June 17th were actual vice-presidential candidates. However, Section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022 makes provision for the withdrawal and re-substitution of candidates 90 days before the date for the general elections.
- This implies that the Labour Party is in no violation of Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2022 by announcing a replacement for Doyin Okupe.
- The Labour Party and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) were planning to merge to establish a stronger third force in the forthcoming presidential election. Supposedly, the merger would see the former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, emerge as the presidential candidate, while Rabiu Kwankwaso would be the running mate.
- Last week in a televised interview, the NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, disclosed that the only way the merger could work would be for the Labour party’s Peter Obi to dump his ambition and become the former Kano State governor’s running mate.