Atiku’s Exclusive Arise TV Interview:
Exclusive

Atiku’s Exclusive Arise TV Interview:

  • Why I didn’t Pick Wike As My Running Mate
  • Why I rejected Tinubu As My Running Mate In 2007
  • Social Media Won’t Win Election For Obi

On Friday, July 22, 2022, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, granted an exclusive interview to one of the leading TV stations, ARISE TV, The Matrix in this report highlights the salient points of the interview for your reading pleasure.

He reacted to the controversy surrounding the choice of his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, and why he did not choose the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

He clarified that he picked the Delta governor because he (Okowa) had the qualities to be a President, adding that he “is a President-in-waiting.”

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He said, “In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our governors, the national working committee, board of trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom.”

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”Why didn’t Atiku pick Wike As Running mate?” answer-0=”“In these consultations, I made clear that my running mate would have the potential to succeed me at a moment’s notice, that is, a president-in-waiting. “In other words, the person must have the qualities to be President. The person must have an appreciation of the deep rot which our country has been put into by the rudderless All Progressives Congress government; understands the great suffering that most of our people are going through and the urgency of relieving them of that suffering; understands the critical importance of economic growth and development to provide our young people with jobs, hope, and a pathway to wealth.”” image-0=”” count=”1″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Atiku also disclosed that he chose who he felt could deliver among the nominees that were presented to him.

He added that Wike was not rejected and that he only picked who could deliver.

Atiku said, “I didn’t reject Wike, I picked who can deliver. Wike is brilliant and tenacious. Going by history, I picked an Igbo as running mate in 2007, in 2019. I still picked an Igbo as running mate for 2023.

“The committee that presented the three nominees was chaired by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. They recommended three people, so I picked one. People should be fair to me and state the facts.”

On the possibility of resolving issues with Wike, Atiku said the party was talking to Wike.

“We are reaching out to Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.

“We are talking to his governor colleagues. I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on.”

He added, “I have contested this presidency a couple of times and I don’t try to blame anybody, I accept the outcome or go to court,” Atiku said.

Atiku also noted that he was driven by the passion to serve the country.

“I’m driven by passion and desire to give back to this country. I’m driven by the passion to give back to this country because of what the country has done for me.

“With what I have been able to accomplish at my age, I don’t desire any other thing other than the passion to serve my country.

Speaking on zoning, Atiku said the PDP had never agreed to zone presidency to the South, noting that there was no concession like that.

“We never zoned to any part of the country,” he said.

Reacting to the controversies of the Muslim-Muslim ticket rocking the ruling All-Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku disclosed that the Muslim-Muslim ticket made him reject Asiwaju Bola Tinubu when he wanted to be his running mate in 2007.

Atiku was President Olusegun Obasanjo’s vice between 1999 and 2008. He fell out with Obasanjo in the bid to succeed him, but later clinched the presidential ticket of Action Congress (AC), a party that Tinubu was instrumental to its formation after the political “Tsunami” that hit Alliance for Democracy (AD) governors who were elected in 1999.

Towards the end of his second term as governor of Lagos, Tinubu laid the groundwork for the establishment of AC, the platform on which Babatunde Fashola, incumbent Minister of Works and Housing, was elected as his successor.

During the running battle with Obasanjo, Atiku defected from the PDP and clinched the AC presidential ticket.

However, he came a distant third in the election, which was won by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and President Muhammadu Buhari of the then All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) came second.

In the interview with ARISE, Atiku said the Muslim-Muslim ticket, which is generating controversy in the country at the moment, made him not choose Tinubu.

“The Muslim-Muslim ticket has always been my fundamental disagreement. Nigeria is a multiethnic and multi-religious nation and there should be a religious balance in our leadership,” he said.

Tinubu, who will square off with Atiku in the 2023 Presidential election, chose Senator Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim as a running mate and this has been generating controversy.

He however disclosed that he still remains friends with Tinubu.

When asked about his relationship with Tinubu, who is a former Lagos State governor, Atiku explained that they still remain friends despite their political differences.

“I’m still a friend of him and being friends with him doesn’t mean we can’t have our political differences,” Atiku said.

Asked about the potential threat of Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to his presidential ambition in the 2023 elections, Atiku clarified that social media presence and acceptability won’t win him (Obi) election.

He noted that despite the social media sensation and acceptability of Obi’s candidacy, the reality remains that the LP does not have people in government or the National Assembly.

“The Labour Party does not have a government in any state or anyone in the National Assembly. Peter Obi is not a threat. They said they have 1 million votes in Osun on social media. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of the voters are not voting through social media,” Atiku said.

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