Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has countered claims made by his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, in relation to the Muslim-Muslim ticket and what transpired between them in the build-up to the 2007 presidential elections.
Abubakar had in an interview with Arise TV on Friday morning 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,” Abubakar said in the interview.
“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.”
Tinubu, however, slammed the claim in a statement by his media aide Tunde Rahman on Saturday.
He accused Abubakar of demeaning himself by pandering to base prejudice at a moment Nigeria needs true leadership.
The statement read in part, “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.”
Tinubu explained that contrary to Abubakar’s position, he and the then Action Congress of Nigeria had helped him out in 2007 after he was frozen out by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and forced out of the PDP.