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Do one hour TV interview to prove you're fit, Atiku challenges Tinubu

Atiku challenged Tinubu to replicate what he did by sitting for an hour-long television interview to prove his mental fortitude for the Nigerian presidency.

Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar. (Channels TV)

The former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has called out the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to take up the challenge of subjecting himself to a one hour television interview.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate said this in reaction to a statement issued by the Tinubu Campaign Organisation (TCO) where he was described as unfit and unprepared to lead the country.

How things got here: It all started from the interview Atiku granted Arise TV which was aired on Friday, July 22, 2022.

In the said interview, the former vice president claimed that he rejected the former Lagos State Governor's request to be his running mate when he (Atiku) was chosen as the Presidential flag-bearer of Action Congress (AC) ahead of the 2007 general elections.

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Tinubu wanted to be my running mate when I was given the AC presidential ticket in 2007, but I disagreed. And because of that, he switched his support to the late Umar Yar’Adua. That was the parting point,” Atiku had said in the pre-recorded interview.

Tinubu's camp replies: Reacting to Atiku's claims, a press statement signed by the Director, Media and Communication of the TCO, Bayo Onanuga, said the interview exposed Atiku “as a man who is not prepared for the job he is applying for and a man who cannot 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 befuddling absence of mind.”

Media aide to the APC presidential candidate, Tunde Rahman, also issued a statement on Saturday where Tinubu was quoted as saying, “I feel sorry for dear old Atiku."

Atiku fires more shots: In a counter reaction, the former vice president stated in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, that Tinubu should emulate "Waziri" by presenting himself for a one-hour television interview to test his mental alertness.

The statement read, “‘We would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour long interview, like the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can talk. Until then, we will only want to remind him and his yes men that they are not in a position to point fingers when they have not sat on the hot seat,” Atiku said in a statement which Paul Ibe, his Media Adviser, issued on his behalf.

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Ibe added that the former vice president was “amused to read the knee jerk response from the Tinubu Campaign Organisation to the wave making interview granted by Atiku Abubakar”.

He said the Tinubu campaign “exposed its gross desperation and vacuousness by citing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999, to declare Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s stance on engaging in a side business while he was a young custom officer as a breach of the law. It is pertinent to educate the Tinubu campaign organisation that Nigeria is not under a military regime and our Constitutions are not retroactive in nature.”

Atiku Abubakar has earned Master's degree from Anglia Ruskin University. We challenge any of the present Presidential candidates to present an equal or higher degree. Moreover, his university attendance is a matter of verified record. Can we say the same about some other persons?

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