Atiku to Tinubu: Your Memory No Longer What It Used to Be

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Alhaji Atiku  Abubakar, said the allegations from his main rival in the election and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, were indications that his memory was no longer what it used to be.
Atiku, however, citied multiple sources to show that it was Tinubu who was the architect of a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2007, when he contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Tinubu had Saturday, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, refuted claims by Atiku that the former Lagos State governor was the architect of a Muslims-Muslim ticket.

However, in a statement by Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe, the former vice president said, “The major accusation made by Asiwaju Tinubu is that the Waziri Adamawa offered him the opportunity of being his running mate in 2007, which means that the former vice-president was not then mindful of Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity, making his statements during the Arise TV interview hypocritical.

“We would not say that Bola Tinubu has lied. Rather, it is our desire to give him the benefit of the doubt, and believe that his memory may not be what it used to be.
“Nigerians may want to note that on 14 September, 2005, the then US Consul General, Brian L. Browne, drafted a memo, leaked via Wikileaks, wherein he stated that Bola Tinubu was scheming to be a running mate to either Atiku Abubakar or Muhammadu Buhari.

“This is further historically corroborated by the subsequent political history of Nigeria. Biographers of President Muhammadu Buhari, have variously recounted how Bola Tinubu made the same request of then presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

“In his 2016 authorised biography of President Muhammadu Buhari titled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, Professor John Paden, an American, wrote about the issue as follows:

“Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and political ‘godfather’ of the South-West geopolitical zone, felt he should be the vice-presidential candidate.”
“The above clearly shows a behavioural pattern here. So, if anyone is “unhinged from the truth” (to borrow Asiwaju Tinubu’s words), it certainly is not Atiku Abubakar.

“In any case, if Bola Tinubu can forget the name of his own political party, why will he not also forget what transpired in 2007 and 2015? We do sympathise with him.
“The fact remains that in a fragile and ethnically diverse nation, such as ours, religious and ethnic balance must be observed at the highest levels, and from there flow downwards.
“That is what Atiku Abubakar said during his interview with Arise TV on Thursday, July 21, 2022, and he stands on that principle and will continue to so stand without apology to anyone.

“From the forgoing, it is clear that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar’s memory and recollection of the event has been corroborated by multiple, independent, and unconnected third parties, and if this were a court of law, this issue would have been regarded as proved beyond reasonable doubt,” the statement added.
Atiku, however, urged  Nigerians  to remember  that even though multiple sources have testified that Bola Tinubu desperately lobbied to be made Buhari’s deputy in a Muslim-Muslim ticket, Bola Tinubu himself denied this on June 22, 2022, and instead accused President Buhari of offering him the position of Vice President.

Accordingly, Atiku added: “Which is exactly the same false allegation he has made against Atiku Abubakar. This is a pattern of behaviour. Not owning up to his actions.”
On need to be moderate and use temperate languages, the statement said, “The issue of Atiku Abubakar offering to make Bola Tinubu his running mate in 2007, the Waziri says as a statesman, which he believes Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also is, or should be, it is pertinent that they use temperate language at all times. It not only shows that they are seasoned and mature, more importantly, it is a good indicator of fitness for the office.”

Atiku said even though he had read Tinubu’s denial, “It was replete with indiscreet language, the former Vice President has elected to respond to the claims made by Asiwaju, adding he has chosen the route of a friendly riposte, in the hope that his gesture will be reciprocated by the Asiwaju in future.”

The statement explained that much as Atiku would respond to Tinubu, but not in the rather impolite manner that he dealt the PDP presidential candidate, but in measured to agenda, we hope this settles the matter, and that cordiality can be expected henceforth from the opposing camp.”

In yet another statement, Atiku said, “I have said this before and I am repeating it here: the next year’s election is a national rescue mission. As citizens of this great country, we owe Nigeria a duty to vote in the election and every ballot cast in that election should count as a referendum on the ruling All Progressives Congress.

“My idea about politics is that it is a system of processes that seeks to organise a society towards a common good. But what the APC has done with us as a country in the past seven years is a direct opposite of that.
“In the 16 years that our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party governed this country, not a single day came with a nightmare that the APC has continued to make us live through,” he explained.

Atiku noted that, taking Nigeria out of the cesspit that the APC has thrown her would require a leadership with forthrightness and a clear vision to chart a new direction into a future of prosperity and peace – the very mantra of our anthem, adding: “We should not reward the APC for their failures and we should reject a discredited leadership with no clear agenda.”

Ex-VP not owner of Mikano, says management

Meanwhile, the management of Mikano International Limited, promoters of Mikano Generators, yesterday, refuted reports that the candidate of the PDP owned the company.
Recently, there had been several posts circulating, especially, on social media claiming that Atiku was the key sponsor of the firm.
Mikano was established in 1993, as a Nigeria-based company that deals in power generating products, sales and servicing, maintenance, overhauling and rentals of gas power generating sets, among others.

The company’s documents also indicated that Nidal Karameh, Muneer Nassr and Abou Fadi were the current directors of the firm.
In a brief statement yesterday, signed by the Managing Director of the company, Firas Mamlouk, the company explained that Mikano International Limited, was not in any way affiliated to the presidential candidate.

“The attention of the management of Mikano International Limited, promoters of Mikano Generators (amongst other products), has been drawn to numerous articles and press statements stating that the company is owned by/affiliated with HE Atiku Abubakar. This disclaimer is a notice to the general public that the news does not represent the true facts as it concerns Mikano International Limited.

“Please be informed that Mikano International Limited is not owned, affiliated, associated, authorised, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with HE Atiku Abubakar. Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard the news,” the power firm stated.

The latest round of accusations is also coming about five years after Atiku similarly personally pushed back on the allegation that he owned the generator manufacturing company and therefore wouldn’t fix the power sector in the country even if elected due to a conflict of interest.

“Young friend, this is not true, but you tweeted it all the same. I own bigger companies and they’re known publicly, why would I deny this one?” he had queried.
He also went to list all the companies he had interest in, and further dispelled rumours that the companies only became active, when he was Nigeria’s number two man, stressing that some of the firms had been running since the 80s.

“Intels was already Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil & gas logistics firm before 1994. This is why the military government tried to seize it,” he told a tweep, who accused him of deploying government funds to promote his businesses.

 

 

(THISDAY)