A former Vice President of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku, on Friday explained why he deleted a tweet condemning the lynching of a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto over blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
Mr Abubakar, one of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirants, said this when he paid a consultative visit to Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo at the Government House, Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Abubakar had earlier reacted to the killing of Deborah Samuel who was lynched by her schoolmates over accusations of blasphemy.
The post was soon taken down after generating backlash in the Muslim North.
But the deletion of the post also generated further social media backlash, especially in the Christian South.
According to Mr Abubakar, “Every tweet has to get my expressed approval but this one didn’t so I asked them to take it down.
“I took a stand about Sharia law and was abused, thrown stones at, but how long did it last? Despite that I didn’t change my position on that. I am not afraid to take a stand on critical issues,” he said.
According to the presidential aspirant, investment in education is key.
“If you can recall what the PDP government did then while in power, we created the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
“We also set up the Primary School Education Fund and Education Tax Fund to enable us (PDP Federal Government) provide sufficient money to both state and local governments to enable them to have sufficient money to invest in primary and secondary education.
“We also passed the law to make education compulsory for every Nigerian child, from primary to secondary schools,” he said.
Responding to the issue of zoning for the PDP presidential ticket, Mr Abubakar said that zoning was not jettisoned by the party.
On the issue of getting a running mate, he said that he would sit down with the party to agree on a running mate for the 2023 presidential election.