The Bola Tinubu campaign organisation has said the recent interview of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, shows that he is not ready to be president.
During the interview aired on Friday, Atiku made many claims, including saying he rejected an offer by Bola Tinubu, to be his running mate in 2007, so as not to field a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Responding in a statement on Saturday, Bola Tinubu campaign’s media director, Bayo Onanuga, said they expected the PDP candidate to be well informed so he does not “expose himself to avoidable ridicule.”
“We have watched Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s interview on Arise Television and were extremely shocked by the many lies and ignorance displayed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
“In the interview, Alhaji Atiku exposed himself as a man who is not prepared for the job he is applying for and a man who can not be entrusted with our commonwealth.
“He was flippant in his response to important questions about his record of service and how he made money while serving in Customs. He muddled up facts and exhibited a befuddling absence of mind.
“It was most shocking Atiku admitted that he cheated the system for decades and engaged in gross misconduct as a government worker.
“As a customs officer at the Idi-Iroko border, Atiku revealed that he ran a commercial taxi service, claiming ‘there is no law stopping public officers from doing business in Nigeria’. He punched harder, claiming there is no conflict of interest in doing so.
“We found this to be untrue. Every officer in the civil service is expected to comply with a code of conduct and service rules which bar civil and public servants from engaging in private business.
“In 1993, after Atiku and Kingibe lost to MKO Abiola in the SDP presidential primary in Jos, Atiku was the choice of the Yar’Adua camp to become Abiola’s running mate.
“Abiola overlooked him and picked the more cerebral diplomat and bureaucrat, Babagana Kingibe. In all the tonnes of biographies written about him, there was nowhere he said he opposed Shehu Yar’Adua’s support for his candidacy as Abiola’s VP.
“He was not against it, since it favoured him. Now, it is politically convenient and opportunistic for him to oppose the Tinubu-Shettima ticket.
“Our conclusion is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is ill-prepared to be President of Nigeria if he could bungle a Television interview that was planned well ahead of the day and time the duo of Dr. Reuben Abati and Ms.Tundun Abiola conducted it.
“We expected the PDP presidential candidate to be well informed on any issue before coming on national television to expose himself to avoidable ridicule,” the statement reads.