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Tinubu’s Political Career Could Have Ended Without My Backing – Atiku

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The political camp of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, sharply refuted claims made by Vice President Kashim Shettima recently that Atiku was a beneficiary of President Bola Tinubu’s political goodwill.

Shettima had alleged that Atiku benefited from Tinubu’s goodwill and support during his (Atiku’s) ‘persecution’ in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

However, Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, asserts in a press statement on Sunday that the opposite is true.

Ibe said it was Tinubu’s political career that flourished due to Atiku’s support.

He said, “Vice President Kashim Shettima goofed when he claimed that former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, benefited from Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s goodwill when he was being ‘persecuted’ in the PDP.

“Truth be told, it was Tinubu who actually benefited immensely from Atiku’s goodwill.

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

Ibe went on to clarify the historical context of the early 4th Republic, challenging Shettima’s version of events.

He said, “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 4th Republic by ascribing the AC, the political platform that Atiku ran in 2007, as Tinubu’s party.

“Nothing can be further from the truth.”

Addressing Shettima’s remarks about the Action Congress (AC) directly, Ibe said,

“Shettima needs to be reminded that Atiku did not run under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but Action Congress (AC).

“AC came out of a coalition of ACD (Advance Congress of Democrats), formed mainly by PDM members and other associates, and Tinubu’s faction of AD.”

He added that Tinubu could not lend the platform to Atiku as erroneously suggested, noting that Atiku’s nomination was backed by delegates from all states.

Ibe listed prominent figures involved in the coalition, emphasizing the broad support for Atiku’s presidential bid.

These included political power brokers such as Lawal Keita, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, and several others, alongside Tinubu’s allies from the Alliance for Democracy, such as Chief Segun Osoba and Chief Adebayo Adefarati.

Concluding his statement, Ibe advised Shettima to avoid making unfounded claims.

“It will be appropriate for Vice President Shettima to refrain from making statements on subject matters on which he knows little or nothing about,” he asserted.

Shettima, speaking at the Third Expanded National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Business Clinics in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, had named that Atiku and National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu as beneficiaries of Tinubu’s political goodwill.

Shettima recounted how Tinubu’s Bourdillon, Lagos home served as a refuge for Atiku when he faced persecution and was expelled from the PDP.

The Vice President also narrated how Tinubu supported Ribadu in his presidential bid four years later.

“These instances reflect Tinubu’s commitment to improving governance in Nigeria,” Shettima noted.

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