Was Atiku a Senate President as claimed by Tinubu?

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THE presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday, January 30, 2023, referred to his counterpart, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a Senate President.

He stated this at the campaign rally of the APC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, while calling on the electorate to sweep out the opposition parties at all levels of governance, and promising a better living standard for all Nigerians if elected into office on February 25.

While discrediting other candidates, Tinubu said in Pidgin English:

“They don’t have a mandate; what they have na ice cream. E melt quick. You gave me their yeye people… Atiku, when we make am senate president, haba! You sell this, you sell that assets, our common wealth…everything that we have.”

The video trended for days on social media platforms in Nigeria, especially Twitter.

CLAIM

Tinubu claimed that Atiku Abubakar was a Senate President.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Atiku Abubakar, one of the front-runners in the 2023 presidential election, is a former Nigerian Vice President during the democratic regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) and a retired Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

He ran as governor of Adamawa State four times before becoming Obasanjo’s running mate in 1999 and served two-term as his VP.

Since 1993, Atiku has continued to eye the presidential seat and is set to battle it with other contenders on February 25, 2023.

In 1993, he contested the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential primaries and lost to Moshood Abiola. Also, in 2007, he was a presidential candidate for the Action Congress.

In 2011, he also contested the presidential primaries of the PDP and lost to Goodluck Jonathan who was the incumbent. In 2014, he joined the APC and lost to Muhammadu Buhari at the party’s primaries. Also, in 2019, he contested under the platform of the PDP, and lost again to the incumbent President Buhari.

However, Abubakar has denied ever being a Senate President, The Guardian reported.

THE VERDICT

Tinubu’s claim that Atiku was a senate president is FALSE; findings show that Atiku Abubakar was never a lawmaker in the National Assembly throughout his political career till date.

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