The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has claimed he rejected the chance to be running mate to President Bola Tinubu.
Atiku also insisted he never betrayed Tinubu during their political alignment in 2007.
According to him, instead, he stood up to his then-principal, President Olusegun Obasanjo, to make sure Lagos State did not fall to the political tsunami of 2003.
Atiku then revealed he and Tinubu parted ways politically after the former Lagos State governor wanted to be his running mate in 2007.
He said, “I beg to disagree (on betrayal allegation) with Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Yes, it is true that in 2007, we came together to form an alliance in Lagos, and at the convention, I contested and got the ticket. After I got the ticket, he sent about 5 or 6 seniors – some of them are here – I can even name them, but I don’t want to embarrass them.
“They met me and said to me that Bola wanted to be my running mate. I said to them, gentlemen, you’re all old enough, and apparently, virtually all of you are Christians’ with the exception of one person. What will be your reaction to having a Muslim-Muslim ticket?
“All of them said we totally objected to it and I said why didn’t you tell him when he was giving you the message that look Mr Tinubu, the message you’re sending us, we don’t seem to agree with you on it (Muslim-Muslim ticket). Why are you coming then to me? And that was the end of our political relationship. We broke away, so what is the ground for him to say that I betrayed him?
“Till today, I won’t do a Muslim-Muslim ticket; I don’t have to be president; we are a multi-ethnic and multi-religious people, and our government must reflect our diversity, and our composition must reflect the same.”