2015: Who Will Be Buhari’s Running Mate?
The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari is now faced with the knotty decision of whom and where to nominate his Vice Presidential Candidate (running mate) after emerging the candidate of the Party in a keenly contested primary election that took place in Lagos two days ago.
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the second public office created by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). See Section 141 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
VICE PRESIDENT AS AN ASSOCIATE OF THE PRESIDENT
The Vice President is to all intents and purposes an Associate of the President. It is therefore mandatory that a person wishing to run for the position of the country to nominate another candidate as his associate from the same political party as a condition precedent to his running for the office of the President; that candidate shall occupy the office of Vice-President if they win the election 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 of the Constitution. See Section 142 subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (supra).The Vice President is therefore subordinated to the President; The Vice President is not a Co-President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AS A CONSTITUTIONAL SUCCESSOR OF THE PRESIDENT
The Vice President is the first person in the presidential line of succession and would ascend to the Presidency upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President.
THE ROLE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
The extent of any informal roles and functions of the Vice President depend on the specific relationship between the President and the Vice President. While the Constitution specifically created the office of both the President and that of the Vice President it went ahead to vest the executive powers of the Federation in only the President. But the President is required to exercise the executive powers conferred on him either directly or through the Vice President and Ministers of the Government of the Federation or officers in the public service of the Federation.
The Constitution did not assign any specific role to the Vice President. The role, which the Nigerian Vice President is to perform, is limited to what the President assigns to him just like those of the Ministers who are appointed by the President subject to confirmation by Senate and may be removed by the President at, will. Unlike the Ministers, the President cannot remove the Vice President
THE QUALITIES OF A VICE PRESIDENT
So what qualities do one need to look for in a vice presidential candidate.
It is not intended to suggest that the union (between the President and Vice Present) demands of the Vice that he should be a slave to the President, with no will or opinion of his own. It does not submerge his personality or individuality in that of the President or make them two-in-one…. As the President’s chief adviser, it is his prerogative and duty to discuss freely with him the policies and actions of the government, to point out any defects or errors in them, and the dangers to which they may expose the government. Nevertheless, having done this, the principle of collective responsibility binds him to all government decisions or actions, whether they emanated from the President alone or from the Executive Council. So long as he remains in office as Vice President, he is not free to oppose in public decisions or actions of the President or of the Executive Council, no matter that he personally disagrees with them. His freedom to disagree and to criticize can only be exercised privately in a meeting with the President alone or in the Executive Council. Freedom on the party of a Vice President to criticize his President publicity for mismanagement or corruption is certainly not consistent with the loyalty required of him as a member of the President’s team. It is worse still that a Vice President should make mismanagement or corruption by the President a reason for seeking openly to contest the office against him. Continued faith in the President should be the only reason for continuing to serve under him. More importantly, it is the only explanation for an interpretation of a Vice President’s continued stay that the electorate can grasp and identify with.
Nor may the right to disagree and criticize be carried to the point of confrontation even when such confrontation is not carried on in public. A Vice President is not at liberty to refuse to carry out government decisions of which he personally disagrees, or to defy government orders or the authority of the President over him or other wise to act as if he is an independent executive within the government. The arrangement implies, in the words of one commentator, that a Vice President can continue to be in office only when he can, in conscience, be loyal to the President.
The moment a Vice President sees himself not any more as a member of the President’s team but as a team leader in his own right, the honourable thing for him to do is to resign. In the present Constitution, only one man is in charge. There is no room for two captains. So it is a question of one being willing to continue to accept order or not. The Constitutional arrangement completely
subordinates the Vice President to the President. He is only a lieutenant.” See Nwabueze, Constitutional Democracy in Africa Vol. 4, Forms of Government, pages 78-79.
A viable vice presidential candidate must be a political supplement and complement his Presidential candidate. He must be political savvy.
A vice President ought to be one mindedness, loyal, trust and have the confidence expected of an associate.
He must be able be political strong and command loyalty, strength and respect in his or her Geo Political Zone.
A Vice President cannot be a political antagonistic of the President.
A vice presidential candidate must be loyalty person, a team player but no somebody that is too political ambitious. This is importance to minimise political friction between him and the President that will distract the President, heat up and the polity and be a source of political instability.
The Vice President must be a humble person with subdued ambition.
PROBABLE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
It is suggested that the Party must zone the Vice Presidential Candidate to the Southern Nigeria as it is conceded that the Presidential slot has been zoned to Northern Nigeria.
It is will settled that the Chairmanship of the Party is zoned to the South/South Region. So the South/South Region is left out of the permutation.
We are left with the South West and South East Regions. The South East Region has five States. The South West has Six States.
The South West has the highest voting population in the country after the North West.
So any Party that wants to make a good showing in the presidential election cannot afford to alienate the South West Region.
Undeniably the South Eat is a political strong hold of the PDP. There is no guarantee that if the Vice Presidential slot is given to the South East the Party can muster good support to supplant the PDP in the Region.
In the light of the above, I humbly suggest that the Vice Presidential slot be given to the South West.
Probable Vice Presidential Candidates from the South West.
1.Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State. He has dazzling and impeccable credentials. He is intelligent, young and made a mark in the International Development Industry in before his foray into politics. He is well known internationally and played a prominent in the struggle to end military rule. He is level headed and not too political ambitious. His candidacy can attract the votes of young people that constitute about 60 % of the voting population. He is a Catholic Christian. He is a member of the APC Governors Forum a very influential lobby within the Party.
2.Senator Olurunimbe Mamora. He was the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly for eight years. He was one time Senator. He was Senate Minority Leader. He can count on this experience to be a bridge between the Executive and Legislative branches of Government in the next dispensation. The next government is expected to carry out fundamental social, economic and political reforms to revamp the country and harmonious working relationship with the legislature is imperative to push through these reforms. He is a Medical Practitioner. He is politically experience and mature. He is Protestant Christian from Lagos State. He is good material for the Vice Presidential slot.
3.Professor Yemi Osibanjo. He is a lawyer and distinguished academic. He was former Attorney General of Lagos State. He is not very political exposed and visible. He is a Pentecostal Christian. He can attract votes from the Pentecostal denominations that is very influential among Christians. However his political connection and network is very limited.
4.Otunba Niyi Adebayo. He is one time Governor of Ekiti State (1999-2003). He is a lawyer and from a political influential family. The father, Gen. Robert Adeyinka Adebayo was the Military Governor of the defunct Western Region. He is a quiet, unassuming and not too ambitious.
5.Yemi Cardoso. He was a former Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State. He is an Economist.
6.Senator Borofice. He is presently a member of the Senate. He is from Ondo State. The choice of Senator Boroffice will be good strategy to garner votes from Ondo State which is presently under the control of Labour Party, party of the PDP.
The selection of a good vice presidential material from the South West Region will definitely help the Party in winning the presidential race come 2015.
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