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2023 Presidential Race: Tinubu Under Fire Over His Primary, Secondary School Certificate Claims



Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 elections, has find himself on the firing range following his omission of Primary and Secondary schools certificates in his affidavit deposed to the electoral umpire.

The former Lagos governor reportedly submitted an affidavit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that left the fields for primary and secondary school education fields blank, meaning he didn’t acquire those certificates. He also claimed that he did not have evidence of the degree certificate he obtained from the Chicago State University because it was carted away by the Nigerian Army during a raid in his abode around 1992.

According to documents that surfaced on Friday, Tinubu said he obtained a degree in business and administration in 1979, apparently referring to his previous claims of attending the Chicago State University.

The electoral law mandates candidates to submit their credentials that will be published for public scrutiny ahead of elections.

But the Jagaban’s latest claims appear to contradict his previous election submissions, especially in 1999 and 2003 when he contested and won the Lagos state governorship. He claimed both times that he attended primary and secondary schools.

Although, allegations of certificate scam have dogged Tinubu’s political career since 1999 but he had always managed to wriggle out of it.

This time, Tinubu’s quest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Villa next year appears headed for the rocks as evidence has emerged that he may have committed a perjury as increasing number of Nigerians have taken to the social media to demand for his scalp.

The microblog, Twitter and Facebook has been awash with mixed reactions even as the Tinubu camp tried to dismiss the certificate saga as untrue on Saturday.

One of the vociferous public affairs commentators who have taken a shot at Tinubu was Dr. Femi Aribisala, who accused the APC candidate of committing perjury.

In a state made through his verified twitter handle, @femiaribisala, Dr Aribisala said:

“I wrote in 2014 that Tinubu’s affidavit that he attended Government College Ibadan (GCI) between 1965 and 1968 is false. I was in GCI from 1962-1968, and Tinubu was not there. Tinubu now tells INEC he did not go to primary or secondary school. This means he committed perjury.”

Pastor Reno Omokri, former social media aide to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, also joined the fray, declaring that Nigerians won’t accept another misfit to ascend the presidency after Buhari who also dodged certificate saga. He tweeted: “Bola Tinubu, where are your primary and secondary school certificates? How could you have been accepted to university without them? Tell us the names of your schools so we can track your classmates. We don’t want another Buhari without certificate! Enough is enough!” Omokri tweeted on Saturday.

HOB Makanju queries: “If Tinubu didn’t attend primary and secondary school, and could not provide a proof for his University certificate, how did he pass the alleged rigorous screening process to become a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and then the State governor of Lagos?”

He adds a clincher: “No one has ever claimed to attend the same schools and uni as Tinubu. Is that not strange too? Most schools and universities tend to rally around their successful students but not Tinubu. Is that not strange too? So we all can agree that something is amiss about his history.

Nnaemeka Edeh also weighed in: “He didn’t attend primary and secondary schools, how did gain admission to university? His university certificate was stolen by unknown soldiers, write the university? Activists,this is your time to drag this guy to the cleaners. So Tinubu that claimed he is accountant, is all wash”.

Sonny Alpeaus also took a swipe at the ex-Lagos Governor: He wrote: “Bala Ahmed Tinubu was advised to leave this ambition for younger and brighter Nigerians, he did not listen. Now he started weeing, shaking, falling on staircase, and NOW school and NO school, certificate and NO certificate. Chicago University and NO Chicago state university”.

Another Commentator, Dreayman adds: “I think he attended either one or the two universities he claimed . I think the main issue is the primary and secondary school he lied about to become Governor. And the next problem is what academic qualifications did he use to get admitted into that same university.”

Meanwhile, a civil rights organization, Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, has given the Inspector-General of Police a 48-hour ultimatum within which he should arrest and initiate criminal prosecution against Tinubu for allegedly supplying false academic qualifications to secure nomination.

The organisation threatened that should the IGP fail to act, court action would be instituted against him for an order of mandamus to compel him to effect the arrest of Tinubu at the end of the ultimatum.

The Legal Adviser of the CRPA and human rights lawyer, Agu Kalu, issued the threat during a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

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