The candidate for the presidency of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, challenged All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to submit to a “long” interview as he (Atiku) did recently.
Atiku was responding to Tinubu’s campaign organization statement earlier on Saturday, attacking him on some issues he had discussed in the interview with AriseTV.
In Friday’s interview, the former vice president attacked the APC and Mr Tinubu for settling for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket for the 2023 elections.
He was referring to the choice of former Borno State governor and sitting senator Kashim Shettima as Mr Tinubu’s running mate.
Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima are both Muslims.
Tinubu’s campaign accused Atiku of enriching himself illegally while in government.
The statement by the organisation’s director of media and communications, Bayo Onanuga, also accused the PDP candidate of hypocrisy, spreading lies and misunderstanding history and current events.
But a statement from Atiku’s media assistant Paul Ibe on Saturday night challenged Mr Tinubu to submit to an hour-long interview, as Atiku did if he was ‘mentally present’ and articulate enough to do so.
He said Mr Tinubu and his “yes men” were unable to criticize Atiku when they had not sat in the “hot seat”.
“We would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to submit to an hour-long interview, as the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can speak.
“Until then, we would only like to remind him and his supporters that they are unable to point fingers when they have not sat in the hot seat,” the statement read.
He also answered other questions raised by the Tinubu campaign, including his time (Atiku) in the Nigerian Customs Service and his academic qualifications.
Below is the full statement from Atiku’s Media Advisor.
We challenge Bola Tinubu to take the hot seat
We were rather amused to read Tinubu’s campaign organization knee-jerk response to Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s wave-making interview given to Arise TV on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
Fun, because we expected it. Mr. Tinubu did not sit down for an extended interview for obvious reasons. Nigerians have seen him speak in public and can themselves measure why he is mortified to do so.
Nevertheless, I will now address the issues in their statement one by one.
* The Tinubu Campaign exposed its glaring desperation and emptiness by citing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999, to declare Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s position on engaging in parallel activity when he was a young customs officer as a violation of the law. It is pertinent to educate the Tinubu campaign organization that Nigeria is not under military rule and our Constitutions are not retroactive in nature.
* Again, the Tinubu campaign betrayed dishonesty or lack of attention to detail by claiming that Atiku Abubakar said oil contributes 20% of Nigeria’s GDP. This is a lie. What the Waziri said is as follows:
“Oil may only be about 20% of our GDP.”
* The use of the word perhaps by the Waziri was in reflection on the various figures given. While the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics gives a figure close to 10%, other multilateral organizations have given a much higher figure, between 15 and 20%. So, while the jury is still out, it’s fair to call oil and gas’s contribution a maybe. However, we would like to point out that Waziri Atiku Abubakar mentioned both PDP and APC during the interview and did not forget the name of his own party.
* It seems that Tinubu’s campaign organization (can a disorganized body be called an organization?) does not know the meaning of power rotation and micro zoning. We will therefore be happy to educate them. Rotation of power refers to a constitutional arrangement where power is distributed between North and South. Micro-zoning refers to a non-constitutional idea, where power is zoned not between North and South, but between geopolitical zones. We hope this will resolve the political illiteracy of the authors of this document.
* The crude response also accuses Waziri Atiku Abubakar of having “limited education”. Atiku Abubakar holds an MA from Anglia Ruskin University. We challenge any of the current presidential candidates to present an equal or higher degree. Also, his college attendance is a matter of verified record. Can the same be said of some other people?
* On President Lincoln, we fear the poor history student is the disorganization of the Tinubu campaign. Yes, it’s true that Lincoln ran for president twice with his name on the ballot. But he showed up at other times and failed to get his name on the ballot.
* In conclusion, we would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to submit to a one hour interview, as the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can speak . Until then, we’ll just want to remind him and his supporters that they’re in no position to point fingers when they haven’t sat in the hot seat.
Media Advisor to Atiku Abubakar
PDP Presidential Candidate and Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007
July 23, 2022
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