Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has accused Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar of lying about what transpired between them in the build-up to the 2007 presidential elections.
Atiku had in an interview with Arise TV on Friday July 22,
claimed that he rejected Tinubu as his running mate in 2007 because he is opposed to fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the interest of the country’s unity.
“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 ACN.
“Tinubu wanted to be my running mate when I was given
the ACN presidential ticket in 2007, but I disagreed. And
because of that, he switched his support to the late Umar
Yaradua. That was the parting point.”
However reacting to this in a statement by his media aide
Tunde Rahman on Saturday July 23, Tinubu accused
Abubakar of demeaning himself by pandering to base
prejudice at a moment Nigeria needs true leadership.
The former Lagos state Governor said Atiku offered him the
running mate position while aware of his faith at the time.
The statement read;
Atiku demeans himself, office he seeks by pandering to
base prejudice at a moment Nigeria needs true leadership
All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, says all Nigerians should feel great
pity and sadness for the candidate of Peoples Democratic
Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
In his desperate attempt to win the election by stoking
religious bias, Atiku has reduced himself to uttering
baseless lies on national television.
“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,” the APC presidential candidate said in a
statement on Sunday by his Media Office signed by Mr.
“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.”
Responding to the false account of PDP Presidential
candidate, Tinubu set the record straight. He recalled that
Atiku was not among those who founded the Action
“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.
“True to form, Atiku, fifteen years later, promised HE
Governor Nyesom Wike the same thing this electoral
season and similarly reneged. Governor Wike is a
“When it comes to intrigue, we can say that Atiku is
without bias. He will attempt to lie and deceive both
Christian and Muslim with equal vigour.
“Atiku has no business raising the issue of a Muslim-
Muslim ticket except as a hypocrite. Perhaps he believes
people have forgotten his antics during the 1993 election.
After he woefully lost his bid to be the presidential
candidate of the Social Democratic Party, what did he do?
He canvassed and lobbied harder than anyone to become
the running mate to late Chief MKO Abiola. When it
benefitted him personally, Atiku did not see anything
wrong with Muslim-Muslim ticket. He saw everything right
in such a ticket as long as he was on it.
“Now, Atiku criticizes my selection as running mate based
on religion. He does so because he cannot criticize it on
other grounds. If Atiku were to have one of his rare
moments of honesty, he would admit that the person I
selected as my running mate is more qualified for the
position than the man who joined him. And this
conclusion has nothing to do with religious faith. It has
everything to do with competence, experience, ability, and
“My running mate and I are here to build a more just and
prosperous society for all Nigerians, be they Christian,
Muslim or adherents of other faiths. It seems that Atiku is
here trying to build an edifice of lies and call that the
house into which Nigerians should walk and reside. He
will fail in this sad attempt to trick an entire nation.
“Let me restate my position on religion and politics. When
I decided that Senator Shettima was the best selection as
my running mate, I listened to and weighed in serious
balance the advice received from a broad and
representative array of wonderful Nigerians who deeply
care about this nation and the path it must go.
“Some people counselled that I should select a Christian
to garner support of the Christian community. Some said I
should select a Muslim for a similar reason. I clearly could
not do both. Both positions had merit and right on their
side. But neither position expressed what was most right
and needed for the moment in which we find ourselves
and the nation.
“All my life, the decisions regarding the team supporting
me have always been guided by the principles of
competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness,
and adherence to excellence. I was not going to depart
from these principles at this important juncture. In fact, it
was more important than ever before that I adhere to
“As Governor of Lagos State, these principles helped me
assemble one of the most capable governing cabinets any
state or this nation has seen. I trust in these principles to
allow them to, once more, guide me to construct another
exemplary team that can do Nigeria proud.
“In this crucial moment, where so much is at stake, we
must prioritize leadership, competence, and the ability to
work as a team over other considerations.
“This is the standard I will use to select the rest of my
campaign team and if you elect me as your president
when I staff my government. I will select the best people
for the right jobs so that we can construct a better Nigeria now and for generations yet to come.”
Tinubu Media Office,
July 23, 2023.
Daily News Reporters