Semi-literate Atiku begged for Muslim-Muslim ticket with MKO Abiola: Tinubu
The attack followed Mr Abubakar’s comments he made on a television interview aired on Friday.

Tinubu and Atiku
Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar
The campaign organisation of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has clapped back at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The attack followed Mr Abubakar’s comments he made on a television interview aired on Friday.

In a statement signed by Bayo Onanugu, the Tinubu Campaign’s director of media and communications, Mr Atiku was described as one of limited education, who lied about his preferences for a Muslim-Muslim ticket presented by the APC as well as how many times he had run for office.

“Atiku, ever an expert in not telling the truth, also did not come clean over his once-upon-a-time preference for a same-faith ticket. In 1993, after Atiku and Kingibe lost to MKO Abiola in the SDP presidential primary in Jos, Atiku was the choice of the Yar’Adua camp to become Abiola’s running mate,” the statement said. “Abiola overlooked him and picked the more cerebral diplomat and bureaucrat, Babagana Kingibe.”

Mr Tinubu’s organisation argued, referring to biographies written about Mr Atiku, that it was not public record that Mr Atiku opposed Shehu Yar’Adua’s support for his candidacy as Abiola’s VP, accusing him of being opportunistic by opposing the ticket now.

The statement also accused Mr Atiku of lying about how many times he ran to become the governor of Adamawa or the old Gongola State.

“Mr Presidential candidate, in case you don’t know due to your limited education, you run for an office, only, when you are on the ballot in an election,” the statement said.

In the interview on Arise TV, Mr Abubakar had said his political ties with Mr Tinubu were severed in 2007 after the former Lagos governor demanded a Muslim-Muslim ticket in that year’s presidential election.

His comments came days after the unveiling of former Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, as the Muslim running mate ahead of next year’s elections.

The ticket has faced a nationwide uproar from Nigerian Christians, including members of Mr Tinubu’s party, who vowed to resist and sabotage it from within.

The State Security Service, Nigeria’s domestic intelligence outfit, also raised national security concerns as a result of Mr Tinubu’s decision.