Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has said that his major fallout with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was because he wanted to be his running mate in the 2007 presidential election.
Speaking on Friday on the Arise News TV, Atiku said the Muslim-Muslim ticket by the APC was “unwelcoming and unripe for Nigeria as a democratic state.”
“Asiwaju planned to be my running mate in 2007 but I disagreed. I have always opposed Muslim-Muslim ticket. I don’t believe this is ripe for countries like Nigeria. There should be balance.
“Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and multi- religious nation and there should be a religious balance in our leadership” Atiku said.
The former Vice President expressed confidence that he will defeat the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
He also dismissed the insinuation that the emergence of Senator Kashim Shettima as Tinubu’s running mate will reduce his chances in the North-East region come 2023.
Atiku also said former President Olusegun does not have a better presidential candidate to support than himself.
Recall that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi had earlier visited the former president to seek his support and blessing ahead of the 2023 presidential election
When asked if Atiku has or needs Obasanjo’s support, Atiku simply said, “Why will I not need his support? He was my former boss. Why will I not need his support? Of course I will need his support. I assume I have it.”
Atiku said he has been talking to the former president, adding that the only thing he has yet to do was to visit him after his emergence as the PDP presidential candidate.
The former vice president noted that he still has the legacy of former President Obasanjo to continue..
Meanwhile, Atiku has said he is already reaching out to the Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, saying the party stakeholders will soon reconcile with the aggrieved Rivers state governor.
The PDP presidential candidate said, “We are reaching out to Governor Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.
“We are talking to his governor colleagues.I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on.”
Atiku, who described Wike as an influential politician who has a good future in Nigerian politics, noted that he did not reject the governor.
He said, “The committee that was set up at my own instance deliberated. There was no vote, and they recommended three names, because they knew it was my prerogative to pick anyone of the three. So, there was actually no vote. It’s not true.
“He Governor Ortom himself chaired that committee. He knew there was no vote taken, and I have the report of that committee. The committee recommended three people and I picked one. I did not go out of that recommendation. So, I think people should be fair to me and should also state the fact.”.