Former Vice President, and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, claimed that he never betrayed President Bola Tinubu, during their political alignment in 2007.
The former president revealed he stood up to his then-principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and ensured that Lagos State did not fall to the political tsunami of 2003, instead of betraying the Tinubu,
Atiku, who contested against President Tinubu in the last general election, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja.
“Those of you who are old enough will also remember that in 2003, the PDP took over all the South-Western states, with the exception of Lagos.
“I stood between Obasanjo and himself (Tinubu) and I said no, you (Obasanjo) can’t take over Lagos. Leave it and he (Obasanjo) left it. So, who is indebted to whom? Is it me or Bola Ahmed Tinubu? I vehemently deny that I stabbed Tinubu in the back.
“There are other things which I will not want to go into,” the former Vice President said.
Atiku, who was responding to a question from a journalist on a claim by a presidential spokesman that he betrayed Tinubu by requesting the President’s academic records from the Chicago State University, said he and Tinubu parted ways politically after the former Lagos State governor wanted to be his running mate in 2007.
He said, “I beg to disagree (on betrayal allegation) with Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Yes, it is true that in 2007 we came together to form an alliance in Lagos, and at the convention, I contested and got the ticket. After I got the ticket, he sent about 5 or 6 seniors – some of them are here – I can even name them but I don’t want to embarrass them.
“They met me and said to me that Bola wanted to be my running mate. I said to them, gentlemen, you’re all old enough, and apparently, virtually all of you are Christians’ with the exception of one person. What will be your reaction to having a Muslim-Muslim ticket?
“All of them said we totally objected to it and I said why didn’t you tell him when he was giving you the message that look Mr Tinubu, the message you’re sending us, we don’t seem to agree with you on it (Muslim-Muslim ticket). Why are you coming then to me? And that was the end of our political relationship. We broke away, so what is the ground for him to say that I betrayed him?
“Till today, I won’t do a Muslim-Muslim ticket; I don’t have to be president; we are a multi-ethnic and multi-religious people, and our government must reflect our diversity, and our composition must reflect the same.”