Why I Didn’t Pick Tinubu As My Running Mate In 2007 – Atiku
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has disclosed that the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asked to be his running mate in the 2007 presidential election.
Abubakar disclosed that Tinubu singlehandedly made the request as one of the conditions to get the party’s presidential ticket in 2007.
He made this known while speaking on Tuesday with members of the party’s Board of Trustees in Abuja.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart revealed that he rejected the condition and chose Senator Ben Obi as his running mate in order to include the South East in political participation or power-sharing.
The former vice-president said while he is not opposed to rotating the presidency, it is time for him to become the next president because he has paid his dues.
He said: “In the party, we invented and formulated this zoning policy simply because we wanted every part of this country to have a sense of belonging and I personally have paid my dues on the issue of zoning.
“Many of you were members of our government when all the PDP governors came in 2003 and said I should run and I said no. We have agreed that power should remain in the south-west, Why should I?
“Some of those governors that supported me, some of them went to jail, some of them were kicked out of their offices, we made sure that we kept the policy. Therefore, you cannot come and try to imply that the PDP has not been following the zoning policy.
“Some say the south-east has not been given the chance. When I joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which my friend Bola (Tinubu) set up, he gave me a set of conditions for giving me the ticket, one of which was that I should make him the vice-president.
“I said no, ‘I’m not going to make you vice-president,’ instead, I took senator Ben Obi. So there is absolutely no reason they should say that there is a deliberate attempt to exclude the south-east in political participation or power-sharing.
“So I thought I should disabuse your mind and of course, as an enlightened political class, I don’t think there’s any deliberate policy to exclude anybody in this country.”