In a recent development in Nigerian politics, the National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bashiru Ajibola, has escalated the tension by suggesting that the 2023 presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, may face charges of treason. This contentious situation arose when Peter Obi, the LP flagbearer, held a press conference in Abuja, urging the potential presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to clarify aspects of his identity, subsequently leading to this fervent exchange of words.
During his press conference, Peter Obi boldly requested that Bola Ahmed Tinubu reintroduce himself to the Nigerian public. He specifically called for clarity on Tinubu’s real name, state of origin, and details about his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service. This call for transparency sparked a heated response from Senator Ajibola, who, in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, sternly defended Tinubu, asserting that there was no need for a reintroduction, as Nigerians were already well-acquainted with his credentials.
Ajibola, a former Spokesman of the Senate, went even further, suggesting that both Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi were grappling with the psychological trauma of their electoral defeats and required “psychiatric evaluation.” His comments insinuated that their queries about Tinubu’s identity were unwarranted and rooted in political bias.
The core of the issue revolves around the legitimacy of Peter Obi’s call for transparency. Obi questioned Tinubu’s academic records at Chicago State University, seeking unequivocal answers regarding his educational history. In response, Senator Ajibola staunchly defended Tinubu’s qualifications and implied that these questions were politically motivated and unfounded.
Ajibola did not mince words, stating, “Obi must know that President Tinubu does not need a re-introduction. He does not have any identity problem, except the one contrived by the Atikus and Peters of our political firmament.” This statement reflects the belief held by many in the APC that Obi and Atiku are perpetuating baseless claims to tarnish Tinubu’s image, a notion that has heightened political tensions.
Regarding President Tinubu’s academic history, Senator Ajibola stressed that the facts surrounding Tinubu’s education were clear and indisputable. He asserted that any lingering doubts were a result of the emotional distress of electoral losses, indirectly accusing Atiku and Obi of orchestrating these challenges out of frustration.
Senator Ajibola’s most controversial statement came when he suggested that Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi should be charged with treason for their attempts to question the identity of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This provocative claim has raised concerns about the potential repercussions it might have on the political climate in Nigeria, which is already highly charged in the run-up to the 2023 presidential elections.