Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Just Like He Did To Wike, Atiku Offered Me Running Mate Ticket – Bola Tinubu
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar of attempting to deceive both Christians and Muslims.
In a statement on Saturday by his Media Office signed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said Atiku has no business raising the issue of a Muslim-Muslim ticket except as a hypocrite.
Recall that Atiku had, during an interview with Arise TV, condemned Tinubu for picking a Muslim as his running mate for the 2023 election.
Atiku said that he became politically estranged from Tinubu after he presented Ben Obi, a Christian from southern Nigeria, as his vice-presidential candidate in the 2007 election.
He said: “He insisted on running with me, and I didn’t believe it was right to have a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“That was the point of my fundamental departure with him.”
Reacting, Tinubu, who described Atiku as a pathological liar, said the PDP candidate openly offered him the vice presidential ticket in 2007.
He stated that the former vice president would have been comfortable with a Muslim-Muslim ticket if he stood to gain from it.
Tinubu said: “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.
“When it comes to intrigue, we can say that Atiku is without bias. He will attempt to lie and deceive Christians and Muslims 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 a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He saw everything right in such a ticket as long as he was on it.
“Now, Atiku criticizes my selection as running mate based on religion. He does so because he cannot criticize it on other grounds. If Atiku were to have one of his rare moments of honesty, he would admit that the person I selected as my running mate is more qualified for the position than the man who joined him. And this conclusion has nothing to do with religious faith. It has everything to do with competence, experience, ability, and vision.
“My running mate and I are here to build a more just and prosperous society for all Nigerians, be they Christian, Muslim, or adherents of other faiths. It seems that Atiku is here trying to build an edifice of lies and call that the house into which Nigerians should walk and reside. He will fail in this sad attempt to trick an entire nation.
“Let me restate my position on religion and politics. When I decided that Senator Shettima was the best selection as my running mate, I listened to and weighed in serious balance the advice received from a broad and representative array of wonderful Nigerians who deeply care about this nation and the path it must go.
“Some people counselled that I should select a Christian to garner the support of the Christian community. Some said I should select a Muslim for a similar reason. I clearly could not do both. Both positions had merit and right on their side. But neither position expressed what was most right and needed for the moment in which we find ourselves and the nation.
“All my life, the decisions regarding the team supporting me have always been guided by the principles of competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness, and adherence to excellence. I was not going to depart from these principles at this important juncture. In fact, it was more important than ever before that I adhere to these principles.
“As Governor of Lagos State, these principles helped me assemble one of the most capable governing cabinets any state or this nation has seen. I trust in these principles to allow them to, once more, guide me to construct another exemplary team that can do Nigeria proud.
“In this crucial moment, where so much is at stake, we must prioritize leadership, competence, and the ability to work as a team over other considerations.
“This is the standard I will use to select the rest of my campaign team and if you elect me as your president when I staff my government. I will select the best people for the right jobs so that we can construct a better Nigeria now and for generations yet to come.”