The Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has submitted Alhaji Kabir Ibrahim Masari as his running mate for the 2023 Presidential election.
Masari is a serving board member of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS located in Kuru, near Jos, the Plateau State capital.
However, DAILY GIST gathered that Tinubu would replace Masari before the election as he only submitted his name temporarily to meet INEC’s deadline.
Political parties have until Friday to submit nominations to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for the 2023 elections.
The INEC compulsory deadline has pushed the APC to temporarily submit the name of Ibrahim Kabiru Masari from Katsina, the home state of President Buhari.
DAILY GIST gathered that Masari’s name has been sent to INEC while consultations for Tinubu’s running mate continue
“Tinubu is still consulting widely on the choice of his running mate. He would replace Masari as soon as the right candidate is selected,” a source said.
The temporary submission of Masari’s name is statutorily allowed under the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act but his name is to be substituted after an agreement has been reached on the most acceptable nominee.
Masari hails from a village in Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina State.
He was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the era of late President Umaru Musa YarÁdua.
After the death of YarÁdua in 2010, Masari defected to the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), the party under which President Muhammadu Buhari contested but lost the 2011 election.
Masari had worked for the president but ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who stepped into office after YarÁdua’s death, won the election.
Ahead of the 2015 election, CPC collapsed its structure into APC and Masari joined the ruling party.
According to reports, the APC may have settled for a Muslim-Muslim ticket in order for the party to win the presidential election.
Sources close to the former Lagos state governor said he has been in closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to finalise the choice of his running mate.
Some of those currently in contention are Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, a kinsman of the president, Alhaji Kabir Ibrahim Masari from Katsina state, former Secretary of the Buhari Support Group (BSG) and ally of the President Muhammadu Buhari from the days of All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change ( CPC), Dr. Ibrahim Bello Dauda as well as a former Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima
The Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North) had said the best option for Tinubu is to pick a Muslim running mate to brighten his chances of winning the 2023 presidential poll.
According to him, Tinubu can not win the presidential election with Christian northerner as running mate.
He noted that there was nothing wrong if Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ran a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Kalu noted that it would be politically naive for Tinubu, a minority Muslim from the South-West, to choose a minority Christian from the North as his running mate.
He urged Christians to relax, disclosing that the wife of the APC presidential candidate, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, is a pastor in a renowned pentecostal church.
Meanwhile, Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP has named Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election