The All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is currently being trolled over his primary and secondary school certificates.
Naija News reports that arguments about Tinubu’s school certificates began again just barely eight months before the 2023 general elections, which will produce the next president of Nigeria.
The former governor of Lagos State was subjected to mockery on and off social media after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s primary school photo surfaced on the internet.
It was observed that while presidential candidates submitted their documents as required by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu did not submit his primary and secondary school certificates to the electoral body.
The development has since stirred arguments among stakeholders and concerned Nigerians.
Naija News understands that Tinubu had, in an affidavit submitted to INEC as part of his eligibility filings for the 2023 presidential elections, claimed that unknown persons stole his school certificates during the military regime.
The documents made public last Friday showed that Tinubu left the columns for his primary and secondary education unmarked.
A report, however, by SaharaReporters, showed that the APC national leader’s latest claims contradicted his previous election submission in 1999 when he contested as Lagos State Governor.
Tinubu had claimed in the previous contests that he attended primary and secondary schools and was certificated. The former governor noted that he attended St Paul Children’s Home School, Ibadan, between 1958 and 1964, while his secondary education was at Government College, Ibadan, between 1965 and 1968.
The controversies about the former governor’s certificates, however, started no later than 1999, as revealed in the documents by SaharaReporters.
According to the report, one Alhaji Jameed Seriki far back on August 12, 1999, wrote a petition accusing Tinubu of perjury and forging the credentials that qualified him to run for the gubernatorial election in Lagos State.
It was stated in the allegation that there was a discrepancy in the governor’s age since the profile published during his inauguration said that he was born in 1952, and the age on his transcript at the Chicago State University claimed that he was born in 1954.
“That the governor did not attend Government College, Ibadan, as was stated in his profile and INEC FORM CF.001.
“The governor did not attend the University of Chicago as claimed in INEC FORM CF, and an affidavit was sworn to at the Ikeja High Court of Justice on 29th December 1998,” Seriki had claimed in the petition.
Consequently, the then Lagos Speaker, Olorunimbe Mamora, on Tuesday, September 21, 1999, set up a five-person ad hoc committee to investigate the allegations and report back to the House.
The committee comprised Hon. Babajide Omoworare (Chairman), Hon. Thomas Ayodele Fadeyi, Hon. Adeniyi Akinmade, Hon. Ibrahim Gbola Gbabijo and Hon Saliu Olaitan Mustapha, Naija News, understands.
In its report to the House, the Committee stated that Tinubu appeared before it on Thursday, September 23, 1999.
The report said: “The Governor of Lagos State started his evidence by admitting “full responsibility” for some of the “needless errors” being pointed at in recent publications and which formed the basis of allegations against him. The governor told the Committee that as a result of the acrimonious primaries of the Alliance for Democracy in Lagos State and its attendant crisis, the information contained in both the INEC form and affidavit of loss of certificates was supplied by Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
“The governor then submitted to the Committee a copy of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) senatorial candidate form dated June 1, 1992, which he used to contest the 1992 senatorial election as a candidate of the party for Lagos West. In the document, which he personally filled, the governor attached the certificates of Richard Daley College and Chicago State University. For his educational qualifications, he filled B.Sc Accounting only.
“This according to him, demonstrated that needless errors spotted in the 1999 INEC form were not consistent and that they were genuine errors.
“He further directed the attention of the committee to the INEC form CFO1 that bore a wrong date of twenty-eight December 1999 instead of twenty-eight December 1998. The error he said was made by INEC which printed the form. And not even the Commissioner of Oath detected the error.
“This in his view further confirmed that the hurried and confused manner under which the preparations for the governorship primaries of 1998 were gave room to error on all sides”.
Tinubu, a sitting governor then, also spoke about his challenging and traumatic youth and how he scaled the hurdles of life as a self-made man.
He claimed that after his primary education, he was “admitted into secondary school, but he could not further to graduation because of his poverty.”
Tinubu further narrated in the case file that he had to engage in menial jobs before proceeding to the United States of America in search of the Golden Fleece. He informed parties involved that in America, he undertook various odd jobs and tried to improve himself academically.
According to him, after five years of the most harrowing work experience, he enrolled at Richard Daley College in Chicago, which offers basic, remedial, and academic classes preparatory to entering Chicago State University. He presented a photocopy of a certificate issued by Richard Daley College (City Colleges of Chicago), a copy attached herewith and marked as Annexure 5.
“Throughout the time he studied in Chicago, the Governor said he also had to fend for himself and that he actually paid his way through school by working extra hours as a tutor in the same university. He said he studied for extra hours, especially during summer.
“The Governor said 27 (twenty-seven) credit hours were transferred from Richard Daley College to Chicago State University, where he obtained Bachelor of Science in Business and Administration. His major was in Accounting,” the report stated about Tinubu.