Tinubu said Atiku’s desperation for political success has affected his ability to remain objective.
Atiku Abubakar and Asiwaju Tinubu
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has slammed former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, over the latter’s comments against the choice of the former to float a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu’s remark is a reaction to the interview where Atiku, who is also the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), claimed that he rejected the former Lagos State Governor’s request to be his running mate because of his disdain for a single faith ticket.
While responding to questions from Arise TV reporters, the former Vice President said his point of departure from Tinubu was his insistence to be his running mate in the 2007 general elections.
Atiku said that the idea of a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket was at the core of his “fundamental disagreement” with Tinubu.
“My fundamental disagreement and political departure with Asiwaju [Tinubu] since 2007 was due to the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Remember, I opted out of PDP because of zoning, and together with Asiwaju we formed AC.”
“Tinubu wanted to be my running mate when I was given the AC presidential ticket in 2007, but I disagreed. And because of that, he switched his support to the late Umar Yar’Adua. That was the parting point,” he had said in the pre-recorded interview.
However, in a statement issued on Saturday by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said he feels sorry for “old Atiku” because he has allowed his ambition to eclipse his relationship with the truth.
He added that the PDP presidential candidate knew nothing about the formation of the Action Congress (AC) at the time, adding that Atiku asked him to be his running mate after he was given the presidential ticket.
The statement read, “We are saddened to see such a man become unhinged from the truth. So obsessed is he with his quest for office, Atiku is willing to render any form of untruth if he thinks it might gain him a single vote. Atiku may want to be president. However, all he has shown is that he is pathological.”
“Whatever moral compass he had has been lost. During a 22 July television interview, Atiku assaulted historic truth by lying that he did not name Tinubu as his running mate in 2007 on the Action Congress ticket because Atiku did not want a Muslim as his running mate.
“It was the actual founders of the AC who offered the party’s flag to Atiku because of the need to fight the authoritarian designs then President Obasanjo and the PDP had on Nigeria’s democracy. At that moment, Atiku had been unceremoniously pushed aside, if not out of the PDP by Obasanjo. We needed to rally all forces to confront the one-party state Obasanjo had in mind. Atiku was simply a beneficiary of this collective duty to fight the attack on multi-party democracy the PDP had launched.
“I feel sorry for dear old Atiku. Love of his own ambition has eclipsed his relationship with the truth and an honest account of the past. We formed the AC without his knowledge. When President Obasanjo virtually exiled him from the PDP, we lent him our support by giving him the AC platform for the 2007 election.
“Let me say openly that Atiku offered me the vice presidential ticket in 2007. Let me also say that my religion has not changed. When he offered the position to me, I was a Muslim and I believe he was aware of my religious faith at the time.
“Atiku’s calculations and deceit had nothing to do with religion or his sensitivity to it. His conduct has everything to do with what we discovered about his paucity of character and love of intrigue.”