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Atiku Claims He Convinced Obasanjo to Spare Lagos from Tinubu’s Takeover

“I Interceded Between Obasanjo and Tinubu: ‘No, You Can’t Take Over Lagos,’ I Said, and He Relented.”

A file photo combination of Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar asserts that President Bola Tinubu should express gratitude towards him, citing his role in persuading then-President Olusegun Obasanjo not to take control of Lagos. During Obasanjo’s presidency from 1999 to 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held power, while Bola Tinubu of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) served as the governor of Lagos State.

At an event where he addressed reporters, Atiku vehemently denied allegations of betraying Tinubu, dispelling speculations circulating in some quarters. He recalled a crucial moment in 2003 when the PDP aimed to take control of all South-Western states except Lagos. Atiku narrated, “I stood between Obasanjo and himself and said, ‘No, you can’t take over Lagos. Leave it,’ and he complied.”

Discussing his relationship with Tinubu, Atiku revealed that Tinubu had expressed interest in being his running mate for the 2007 election. However, Atiku objected due to their shared faith, stating, “Yes, it is true. In 2007, we came together to form AC. And in Lagos at the convention, I emerged as the winner and secured the ticket.” He recounted an encounter with party members who conveyed Tinubu’s desire to be his running mate, but Atiku questioned the prospect of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, a stance that was unanimously opposed by those involved.

He further explained, “I said then, ‘Why did you not tell him: Mr. Tinubu, the message you are giving to us, we don’t seem to agree with it? Why are you then coming to me?’ And that was the end of the political relationship. He broke away, went, and supported Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. So, where is the ground for him to say I betrayed him?”

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