The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, said contrary to the claims in circulation, President Bola Tinubu immensely benefited from his goodwill.

Atiku said but for him, Tinubu’s political career might have been terminated while he was governor of Lagos State in the early part of the Fourth Republic.

On Thursday, Vice President Kashim Shettima stated that both Atiku and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, once benefited from Tinubu’s political support during their times of persecution. Shettima specifically said Tinubu’s residence in Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos, served as a refuge for Atiku when he faced harassment and expulsion from the PDP.

“He (Tinubu) has been a veritable sanctuary for victims of political witch-hunts. When Atiku Abubakar was harassed in the Peoples Democratic Party, it was Bourdillon he ran to for support and it was in Bourdillon that he got the needed support and later contested for the presidency of this country,” Shettima stated during the inauguration of the Vice Presidential Lodge constructed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in Abuja.

Reacting through a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Sunday, Atiku said Shettima “goofed,” adding that “truth be told, it was Tinubu that actually benefited immensely from Atiku’s goodwill.”

The former vice president stated that without his support, Tinubu would not have enjoyed his tenure as Lagos State governor and might have been impeached.

He stated, “But for Atiku’s support, hinged on his pro-democracy instincts and the rule of law, Tinubu’s tenure as governor of Lagos State would have been rough with a wide possibility of termination of his political career.

“For some time, and especially leading up to the 2023 election, there has been a deliberate attempt to distort the history of the politics of the early Fourth Republic by ascribing the AC, the political platform that Atiku ran in 2007, as Tinubu’s party.

“Nothing can be further from the truth. Vice President Shettima, obviously carried away with the euphoria of the unveiling of his official residence as Vice President, repeated the same lie.”

Atiku urged Shettima to avoid commenting on topics about which he had little or no knowledge.

“Shettima needs to be reminded that Atiku did not run under the Action Congress of Nigeria, but Action Congress. AC came out of a coalition of Advance Congress of Democrats, formed mainly by PDM members and other associates and Tinubu’s faction of Alliance for Democracy.

“Moreover, Tinubu was not in a position to lend the platform to Atiku as erroneously suggested, as he (Atiku) was nominated by all the delegates from all the states.

“The delegates to the primary of the election that threw up the former Vice President as the party’s presidential candidate included Atiku Abubakar himself, Lawal Keita, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, Alexis Anielo, Titi Ajanaku, ex-Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Chief Tom Ikimi, and Chief Dapo Sarumi. Others were Chief Sergeant Awuse,  Alh. Lawan, Dr Chris Ngige, Prof Ango Abdullahi, Dr Farouk Abdul Azeez, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Ejiofor Onyia, and Dr Iyorchia Ayu, among others.

“From the Tinubu’s Alliance for Democracy were Bola Tinubu, Chief Segun Osoba, Chief Adebayo Adefarati, and Chief Bisi Akande, among others,” the statement noted.

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