A former interim National Chairman and founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has explained that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar rejected the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, as his presidential running mate in 2007.
Akande, who was a former National Chairman of Action Congress (AC), stated that despite the nomination of Tinubu, Atiku opted for Ben Obi as his running mate under the party.
Akande disclosed this in his autobiography, ‘My Participations’, where he talked on some of the untold incidents that happened before the 2007 elections. An online news portal,
The African Examiner recalled that Akande had released his autobiography over the weekend. Akande stated that Atiku informed the party of his choice of running mate through a Kanobased politician, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim.
According to him, Atiku insisted on having Obi despite efforts by the then AC chieftains to persuade him to use Tinubu or another candidate from the South-West. Akande said: “In 2007, we formed a party, the AC, with Abubakar Atiku. We agreed that Atiku should be our presidential candidate and we had the understanding that he would run with Bola Tinubu “I was the chairman of the AC.
One day, after we had nominated Atiku as our presidential candidate, one young man came and gave me a form from INEC. I told him I could not sign a blank form and that I, as the Chairman, must know the name that would be filled in it. “The young man, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, must have been the organizing right-hand man of Atiku.
The following morning, he came again with Lawan Kaita. Kaita begged me and said it was Ben Obi’s whom Atiku had chosen as his running mate behind our backs. “So, I signed the form because I believed in the candidate. If I refused to sign, that would create a crisis.”