I declined Tinubu’s Request to be my running mate in 2007 – Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how he turned down the offer made by former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, in 2007

Atiku, who served as Vice to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, said Tinubu wanted to be his running mate in the year he lost his first presidential election, but he said no.

Atiku fell out with Obasanjo in the bid to succeed him, but later clinched the presidential ticket of Action Congress (AC), a party that Tinubu was instrumental to its formation after the political “Tsunami” that hit Alliance for Democracy (AD) governors who were elected in 1999.

Of all the AD governors elected in the South West 1999, none but Tinubu was re-elected as a result of the PDP incursion believed to have been spearheaded by Obasanjo.

Towards the end of his second term as governor of Lagos, Tinubu laid the groundwork for the establishment of AC, the platform on which Babatunde Fashola, incumbent Minister of Works and Housing, was elected as his successor.

During the running battle with Obasanjo, Atiku defected from the PDP and clinched the AC presidential ticket.

However, he came a distant third in the election, which was won by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President Muhammadu Buhari of the then All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) came second.

The AC had put up a force in the National Assembly, where it won 32 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives and 6 out of 109 seats in the Senate.

Addressing the Board of Trustees members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a meeting on Tuesday, Atiku said the opposition party should not be coerced to accept zoning in the 2023 presidency race.

He said, “Some say the South-East have not been given the chance. When I joined the Action Congress (AC) 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,” Atiku said.

Tinubu is currently one of the presidential aspirants of the ruling APC, while Atiku is one of the major contenders for the PDP presidential ticket.

Atiku added that when he got the ticket again in 2019 to run, he took another Obi coincidentally.

“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,” he said.

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