ATIKU: Tinubu’s Memory May Not Be What It Used To Be, Muslim-Muslim Ticket
PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubukar, has fired a fresh salvo on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu had claimed in a response to Atiku’s inter- view that it was the former vice president that offered him the running mate slot in 2007, as against Atiku’s stand that it was Tinubu who asked for it.
In a recent interview with Arise Television, Atiku said Tinubu requested to be made his running mate under the Action Congress (AC), saying that he turned down his request because it would have given rise to a single faith presidential ticket and showed lack of sensitivity to the nation’s religious configuration.
Reacting to the claim, Tinubu accused Atiku of lying, as he said the former vice president was the one who offered him the post.
But a statement issued on Sunday by Paul Ibe, media adviser to the PDP standard bearer, maintained that it was not a case of Tinubu tell- ing a lie but that of his memory failing him.
“We would not say that Bola Tinubu has lied. Rather, it is our desire to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that his memory may not be what it used to be,” it declared.
The statement pointed that multiple sources that are un- connected have confirmed Atiku’s position on the APC presidential candidate in a way that suggests a certain behavioural pattern. The statement read: “We have read the response from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the groundbreaking inter- view granted by His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, to Arise TV, and though it was replete with indiscreet language, the former vice president has elected to respond to the claims made by Asiwaju.
“In responding, he has chosen the route of a friendly riposte, in the hope that his gesture will be reciprocated by the Asiwaju in future.
“On the issue of Atiku Abubakar offering to make Bola Tinubu his running mate in 2007, the Waziri says as a statesman, which he believes Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also is, or should be, it is pertinent that they use temperate language at all times. It not only shows that they are seasoned and mature, more importantly, it is a good indicator of fitness for office.
“And that is why it is our intention to respond to Asiwaju’s statement on Atiku Abubakar’s Arise TV interview, not in the rather impolite manner that he dealt the PDP presidential candidate, but in measured tones.
“The major accusation made by Asiwaju Tinubu is that the Waziri Adamawa offered him the opportunity of being his running mate in 2007, which means that the former vice president was not then mindful of Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity, making his statements during the Arise TV interview hypo- critical.
“We would not say that Bola Tinubu has lied. Rather, it is our desire to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that his memory may not be what it used to be.
“Nigerians may want to note that on September 14, 2005, the then US Consul General, Brian L. Browne, drafted a memo, leaked via Wikileaks, wherein he stated that Bola Tinubu was scheming to be a running mate to either Atiku Abubakar or Muhammadu Buhari.