Doyin Okupe, a former aide of ex-Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, has denied kicking against the presidential bid of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
“Mischief makers turned to look like i was disparaging Atiku. I can never insult Atiku for any reason. I hold him in very high esteem as he was very instrumental to my getting appointed in the Obasanjo regime.”
Abubakar, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he is one of the party’s presidential aspirants.
Okupe had said Abubakar becoming Nigeria’s president even for a day would draw the country backwards.
“If Atiku rules Nigeria for 1 day, it will take us 10 years to recover. If Saraki rules for a day, Nigeria will (bxexcxoxmxe) make history,” he had written via his Twitter handle.
The statement had generated criticisms. Some Nigerians, including Reno Omokri, who was also an aide to Jonathan, had fired back at Okupe.
1-Dear @doyinokupe,— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) August 21, 2018
With due respects, Nigeria’s greatest challenge is unemployment. @SGYemiKale’s NBS revealed in December that 7.9 million Nigerians lost their jobs in 21 months. We need a job creator like @Atiku. Not a job destroyer like @Mbuhari #OkupeIsWrongOnAtiku
2-Dr. @doyinokupe, I know you recently reconciled with President Obasanjo. I appreciate the interplay. But now is the time to put national interest above personal interest. @Atiku knows how to create jobs. Nigerians need jobs more than they need anything else #OkupeIsWrongOnAtiku— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) August 21, 2018
3-If you, @doyinokupe, have any evidence to substantiate your claims against @Atiku, I urge you to come out and expose it to the Nigerian public or hold your peace. Atiku has 50,000 direct employees. Who amongst those contesting can create jobs like Atiku? #OkupeIsWrongOnAtiku— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) August 21, 2018
4-I know you support Saraki, but @doyinokupe you can campaign for Saraki without denigrating @Atiku. The opposition must not turn its arsenal on themselves. Under Buhari, 11 million jobs have been lost and herdsmen have killed thousands. Let us get him out #OkupeIsWrongOnAtiku— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) August 21, 2018
However, writing on Facebook page on Wednesday, Okupe said he “tried some humour on the post” as he would “never insult” Atiku.
He said he holds the former vice-president in high esteem and blamed “mischief makers” for turning his comment around.
“I did not originate d post saying if Atiku ruled, Nigeria will not recover in 10 years, but if senate president rules, Nigeria will become history,” he wrote.
“I tried some humour on the post by crossing out the “become” and changing it to ‘will make history’.