Date: October 4, 2023
Reporter: Grace Chigbu
The aftermath of the release of President Bola Tinubu’s academic records by Chicago State University (CSU) has sparked intense reactions in Nigerian politics. Fetus Keyamo, a prominent All Progressives Party (APC) member and Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has called on former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to issue an apology to Tinubu and the Nigerian public after his attempt to challenge the incumbent president’s credentials.
Keyamo conveyed this demand via his social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, now known as X. He characterized Atiku’s journey to Chicago University in an effort to expose Tinubu as futile. In his statement, Keyamo wrote, “From the responses by Chicago State University, ATIKU’s journey to Chicago and back has been a journey to nowhere, a fruitless exercise, and an odyssey in self-humiliation. President Tinubu and Nigerians deserve an unreserved apology from him.”
Tinubu had submitted his academic certificates from CSU to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of the eligibility requirements for the 2023 presidential election. In response, Atiku sought the release of Tinubu’s academic records submitted to INEC through legal action in a United States court.
On September 30, the Chicago court, presided over by Justice Nancy Maldonado, dismissed Tinubu’s objections and ordered CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records in support of Atiku’s petition challenging the 2023 presidential election results. Following the court’s verdict, CSU complied and released Tinubu’s academic records on October 2.
In a parallel development, The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) called upon the Supreme Court of Nigeria to either disqualify President Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the presidency or compel him to resign immediately due to allegations of identity theft and certificate forgery.
HURIWA contended that Tinubu’s continued occupancy of the highest office in the land violates the constitution and electoral laws of Nigeria, making him morally and legally unfit to hold the position.
The National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, asserted that Nigerians should reject Tinubu as their president, citing the revelation by NewsBand Newspaper that the academic record from South-West College, which Tinubu used to gain admission to CSU, belonged to a woman.
HURIWA emphasized that documents obtained from CSU revealed that Tinubu was enrolled as a female student under the name Bola Adekunle Tinubu. This discovery, according to HURIWA, exposes Tinubu as a fraud and a deceiver who misled Nigerians for decades.
Additionally, HURIWA alleged that Tinubu is implicated in other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking and money laundering, based on documents purportedly obtained from US authorities.
HURIWA implored the Supreme Court of Nigeria to uphold justice, protect the integrity of the electoral process, and safeguard democratic values. The rights group asserted that failure to disqualify Tinubu or force his resignation could lead to a loss of faith in Nigerian leaders and institutions, potentially triggering civil disobedience and mass protests to demand accountability.
The release of President Tinubu’s academic records has ignited a fierce debate on the political landscape, with various stakeholders expressing their opinions on the matter. As the nation watches closely, the responses from both political figures and civil society organizations underscore the significance of transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s democracy. The future course of action by the Supreme Court will undoubtedly shape the nation’s political trajectory.