Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wanted to be his running mate under the umbrella of Action Congress (AC) in the 2007 presidential election.
Atiku was made the AC presidential candidate in 2007 after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he was serving as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s deputy shut its doors against him.
The AC was formed by Tinubu, who was at that time serving his second term as governor of Lagos State.
Atiku told the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) members that Tinubu gave him conditions before he could allow him to fly the AC ticket.
“When I joined the ACN, which my friend Bola was setting up, he gave me a set of conditions for giving me the ticket, that I should make him vice president. I said ‘no, I’m not going to make you vice president.’ Instead, I took Senator Ben (Obi),” he said.
He called on the BOT members to support his presidential ambition in 2023 or they will all retire with him from politics.
“Your excellences, friends, brothers and sisters, we are now at a crucial moment in this country. Many of you here, it is either we retire together or we move on together,” the former Customs officer said.
Atiku fears the PDP might not survive another eight years as an opposition party.
According to him, people in developing countries like Nigeria gravitate towards the government in power, adding that it might lead to the death of the PDP.
He defended his position on the rotational presidency, stating that the PDP adopted zoning to give every part of the country a sense of belonging. According to him, he has paid his dues for supporting zoning.
Atiku said: “Many of you (BoT members) were members of our government when all PDP governors came in 2003 and said I should run and I say ‘no.
We have agreed that power should remain in the South West, why should I?’ “Some of those governors that supported me, some of them went to jail, some of them were kicked out of their offices.
“So, you cannot come and try to imply that the PDP has not been following the zoning policy.