BusinessDay

How Tinubu consistently lobbied for Muslim- Muslim ticket – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s general election, said the allegations of the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, were indications that his memory was no longer what it used to be.

Atiku cited multiple sources to show Tinubu as the architect of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2007 when he contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Tinubu had Saturday, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, refuted claims by Atiku that the former Lagos State governor was the architect of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

However, in a statement by Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe, the former vice president said, the major accusation made by Tinubu is that Atiku offered him the opportunity of being his running mate in 2007, which means that the former vice-president was not then mindful of Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity, making his statements during the Arise TV interview hypocritical.

Speaking further, Atiku, urged Nigerians to remember that even though multiple sources have testified that Bola Tinubu desperately lobbied to be made Buhari’s deputy in a Muslim-Muslim ticket, Bola Tinubu himself denied this on June 22, 2022, and instead accused President Buhari of offering him the position of Vice President.

According to the statement, “We would not say that Bola Tinubu has lied. Rather, it is our desire to give him the benefit of the doubt, and believe that his memory may not be what it used to be.

“Nigerians may want to note that on 14 September 2005, the then US Consul General, Brian L. Browne, drafted a memo, leaked via Wikileaks, wherein he stated that Bola Tinubu was scheming to be a running mate to either Atiku Abubakar or Muhammadu Buhari.

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“This is further historically corroborated by the subsequent political history of Nigeria. Biographers of President Muhammadu Buhari, have variously recounted how Bola Tinubu made the same request to the then-presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

“In his 2016 authorised biography of President Muhammadu Buhari titled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, Professor John Paden, an American, wrote about the issue as follows:

“Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and political ‘godfather’ of the South-West geopolitical zone, felt he should be the vice-presidential candidate.”

“The above clearly shows a behavioural pattern here. So, if anyone is “unhinged from the truth” (to borrow Asiwaju Tinubu’s words), it certainly is not Atiku Abubakar.

“In any case, if Bola Tinubu can forget the name of his own political party, why will he not also forget what transpired in 2007 and 2015? We do sympathise with him.

“The fact remains that in a fragile and ethnically diverse nation, such as ours, religious and ethnic balance must be observed at the highest levels, and from there flow downwards.

“That is what Atiku Abubakar said during his interview with Arise TV on Thursday, July 21, 2022, and he stands on that principle and will continue to stand without apology to anyone.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar’s memory and recollection of the event has been corroborated by multiple, independent, and unconnected third parties, and if this were a court of law, this issue would have been regarded as proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” the statement added.

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