The recent altercation between the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and that of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, have continued unabated as the camp of the former vice president have responded to outburst from the camp of the former Lagos State Governor.
Atiku in his response challenged Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour-long interview like himself, and as such if he is able to articulate and mentally present, then he can talk.
This was made known in a statement issued on Saturday by Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, as an immediate response to Bola Tinubu’s verbal attack on the former vice president, where he described him as a pathological liar and desperate.
Atiku noted that the Tinubu campaign exposed its gross desperation and vacuousness by citing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999, to declare Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s stance on engaging in a side business while he was a young custom officer as a breach of the law.
What Atiku’s Media Aide was saying in the statement
The statement titled, ‘We Challenge Bola Tinubu to Take the Hot Seat’, partly reads, ‘’We were rather amused to read the knee jerk response from the Tinubu Campaign Organisation to the wave making interview granted by Waziri Atiku Abubakar to Arise TV on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
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‘’Amusement, because we expected this. Mr. Tinubu has not sat down to do any prolonged interview for obvious reasons. Nigerians have seen him talk in public and can themselves gauge the reason why he is mortified to do so.
‘’Nevertheless, I will now take the issues in their statement one after the other.
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‘’The Tinubu campaign exposed its gross desperation and vacuousness by citing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999, to declare Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s stance on engaging in a side business while he was a young custom officer as a breach of the law. It is pertinent to educate the Tinubu campaign organisation that Nigeria is not under a military regime and our Constitutions are not retroactive in nature.
“We would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour-long interview like the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can talk,” said Ibe.
“Until then, we will only want to remind him and his yes men that they are not in a position to point fingers when they have not sat on the hot seat.”
What you should know
The controversy between the 2 frontline presidential aspirants started when Atiku Abubakar, in a pre-recorded interview that was shown on an Arise Television programme, the Morning Show, claimed he rejected Tinubu as his running mate in 2007 on the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform because he was against the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the interest of the country’s unity.
Atiku said, “My fundamental disagreement and political departure with Asiwaju [Tinubu] since 2007 was due to the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Remember, I opted out of PDP because of zoning, and together with Asiwaju we formed CAN.
“Tinubu wanted to be my running mate when I was given the ACN presidential ticket in 2007, but I disagreed. And because of that, he switched his support to the late Umar Yaradua. That was the parting point.”
But in his reaction, 24 hours after the interview was aired, Tinubu in a counter claim, accused Atiku of demeaning himself by pandering to base prejudice at a moment Nigeria needs true leadership.
Rather, he explained that he and the ACN helped Atiku in 2007 after he was frozen out by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and forced out of the PDP.
He said that Atiku offered to choose him as his running mate after he picked the party’s presidential ticket.