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I turned down Tinubu’s request to be my running mate in 2007 —Atiku

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Presidential hopeful and Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday, disclosed that a Presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, requested to be his running mate when he contested in 2007, but he turned down the request.

Atiku, contested for President in 2007 under Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) after he fell out with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Atiku, while addressing the Board of Trustees members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a meeting on Tuesday, said Tinubu insisted on being his running mate but he turned him down.

He said this while dismissing clamours for the PDP ticket to be zoned to the South-East.

“Some say the South-East have not been given the chance. When I joined the Action Congress (AC) which my friend Bola (Tinubu) set up, he gave me a set of conditions for giving me the ticket, one of which was that I should make him the Vice President. I said no, ‘I’m not going to make you Vice President,’ instead, I took Senator Ben Obi,” He said.

Read also: Tinubu reacts to tribunal judgment on Atiku Vs Buhari

Atiku argued that the South had had more chances at the PDP ticket in the past than the North.

He added, “In the party, we invented and formulated this zoning policy simply because we wanted every part of this country to have a sense of belonging and I personally have paid my dues on the issue of zoning.

“The many years of PDP government eight years and six years all of them were from the South. So, we should not be stampeded by the opposition party. They have a moral obligation which is inescapable.

“So, there is absolutely no reason they should say that there is a deliberate attempt to exclude the South-East in political participation or power sharing.”

“So I thought I should disabuse your mind and of course, as an enlightened political class, I don’t think there’s any deliberate policy to exclude anybody in this country.”

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka

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