Atiku says Tinubu remains his friend but they have their political difference.
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says he rejected Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as his running mate in 2007 because of Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Atiku said Tinubu wanted to be his running mate for the 2007 presidential election but he turned down the idea because he “didn’t believe it was right to have a Muslim-Muslim ticket.”
The former Vice President said this during his interview on Arise TV on Friday, July 22, 2022, amid the controversy over the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 election.
The Backstory: The controversy over the single-faith presidential ticket started when Tinubu, who is a southern Muslim chose a northern Muslim, Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Many Nigerians including Christian leaders across the country have opposed the ruling party’s choice of presenting two Muslims as its Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates.
During his interview, Atiku said Tinubu had insisted on being his running mate for the 2007 election but he rejected him.
Atiku’s Views: “The Muslim-Muslim ticket has always been my fundamental disagreement. Nigeria is a multiethnic and multi-religious nation and there should be a religious balance in our leadership.
“He (Tinubu) 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.”
On his relationship with Tinubu, the PDP presidential candidate said “I’m still a friend of him and being friends with him doesn’t mean we can’t have our political differences.”
Tinubu will square off with Atiku in the 2023 Presidential election as both of them are the presidential candidates of their political parties.