The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has carpeted his opposite in the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, over his comment on his choice of a Muslim vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Tinubu said the former Vice President of Nigeria had twice attempted to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the past.
The former Lagos State Governor, who spoke in a statement on Saturday, was reacting to Abubakar’s comment in an interview he granted Arise TV, where he said he refused Tinubu the vice presidential candidate slot for the 2007 polls on the platform of the Action Congress, where he was the flag bearer.
Reacting in a statement released by his Media Office on Saturday, Tinubu said Abubakar once lobbied to be the running mate of late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a Muslim like the former Vice President, for the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He said in the statement: “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.”
On the 2007 elections, the former two-term Governor of Lagos State said Abubakar offered him the vice presidential ticket.
He said the former Vice President was only brought into the defunct AC in order to curb the excesses of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who had set out to annihilate Abubakar politically.
He said: “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 Christian.”