Journalism of Courage

Muslim-Muslim ticket made me to part ways with Tinubu in 2007, Atiku says

Persecondnews reports that there have been a flurry of criticisms against the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), rejecting in its entirety the decision to pick Shettima, a northern Muslim, as running mate to Tinubu, another Muslim from the South.

The vexed issue of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket which he also solicited in 2007 was the fundamental issue that caused the political separation and estrangement with Tinubu, so says the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar.

The former Vice-President said the overly persistent request or preference for Tinubu’s choice of Sen. Kashim Shettima from Borno State as his running mate, has made it easier for PDP to emerge winner in 2023 Presidential poll.

Atiku disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Arise TV on Friday, monitored by Persecondnews.

Persecondnews reports that there have been a flurry of criticisms against the APC Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), rejecting in its entirety the decision to pick Shettima, a northern Muslim, as running mate to Tinubu, another Muslim from the South.

Some Christian clerics in the rank of “Bishops’’ were hired on Wednesday in Abuja to grace the unveiling of Tinubu’s running mate which the Kaduna CAN chairman, John Hayab, described as Nollywood movie and that those paraded at the occasion to give credence to Christian support were not CAN members.

But Tinubu’s campaign organization said they were “upcoming bishops’’ and that they were not fake.

Fielding questions on the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, Atiku said: “My fundamental disagreement with Asiwaju since 2007 was on the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket. That was my fundamental disagreement and departure from Asiwaju.

“Together with Asiwaju, we formed ACN and I was given a ticket in Lagos and he insisted to be my running mate and I said no, I am not going to have a Muslim-Muslim ticket and because of that he switched his support to the late Umaru Yar`Adua and that was the departing point and of course.

“It is also a fact that when Buhari emerged in Lagos in 2015 that I also opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I opposed it and my opposition actually reinforced the decision of President Buhari to pick a Christian running mate.

“So, I have all along opposed that. I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe it is right for a country like Nigeria that is multi-ethnic, multi-religious that there should be balancing of interests, whether religious or otherwise.

“If you know the composition of the Northeast, you have Borno and Yobe, these are essentially two Kanuri states. Then you have the other states which are essentially Hausa-Fulani. So, even if people are going to vote on that basis I think I have more favourable prospects from the North-East.”

Also speaking on Labour Party, otherwise known as the “Third Force platform’’ and which has continued to gain popularity especially among the youths, Atiku noted that Nigerians should not expect any miracle from the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the forthcoming presidential poll.

“What is the performance of the Labour Party? This is a party that does not have a governor; doesn’t have members of the national assembly; doesn’t have state assembly members.

“Politics in this country depends on the structures you have at these various levels – at the local government level; at the state level; and at the national level.

“So, it is very very difficult to expect a miracle to happen simply because Peter Obi is in the Labour Party,” he said.

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