Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has disclosed that the current National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, had once asked him for a vice-presidential position when he contested the presidency under the Action Congress of Nigeria, CAN.
Mr Atiku made the disclosure during an interactive session with the BoT members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abuja.
According to Mr Atiku, he refused to make Mr Tinubu his Vice because he needed to carry South-East along, hence he took Sen. Ben Obi.
He said: “Some say the South-East have not been given the chance. When I joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) which my friend Bola (Tinubu) set up, he gave me a set of condition for giving me the ticket, one of which was that I should make him the Vice President.
“So there is absolutely no reason they should say that there is a deliberate attempts 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,” he said.
He said that the 2023 general elections offered the party opportunity to return to the power, stressing that anything short of victory would not be good for the party.
“I said no, ‘I’m not going to make you Vice President,’ instead, I took Sen. Ben Obi.”
“I am worried and you should be worried too that if we do not win, it means we will be in opposition again for the next eight years.
“By the next eight years, I don’t know how many will be left in politics and it may even ultimately lead to the death of the party because people gravitate, particularly in developing countries, towards governments.
“Ordinary people naturally gravitate towards government. So this is a very, very crucial and historical moment in history, for our survival. I want you to think about it.
“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,” Mr Abubakar said.
The former vice president said that PDP administration had from 1999 to 2007 had remarkable achievements that has not been matched by any subsequent administration.
Mr Abubakar said that PDP would score more votes in 2023 if the Bot members worked together.
“Somebody said that we recorded 12 million votes during the last election. Those are not only my votes, those were our votes.
“In achieving or recording those 11 million votes, it was all of us and I believe if we work together again, we can surpass those votes,” he added.