The 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has asked President Bola Tinubu to reintroduce himself to Nigerians to clear the “lingering doubts and valid speculations about his true identity” once and for all.
Obi, who is one of the candidates challenging Tinubu’s presidential victory in court, made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, against the backdrop of fresh allegations of certificate forgery and alleged identity theft being levelled against President Tinubu.
The allegations became intense after Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, went through a United States court to obtain transcripts of Tinubu’s records from the Chicago State University, where the president claimed to have obtained a degree in Business Administration.
However, there are alleged discrepancies in the records released to Atiku by the Chicago State University and the one Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the February 25, 2023, presidential poll.
The most glaring discrepancy in the records was Tinubu’s recognition by the university as a female, whereas the president is a male.
In his speech at the press conference, Obi said that the allegations against Tinubu had further worsened Nigeria’s image internationally.
He said, “To the outsiders, the entire Chicago University matter, as well as Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s many other lingering identity question marks, have further worsened Nigeria’s less-than-glorious image internationally. Uninformed outsiders now see every Nigerian as a fraudster, certificate forger, or identity thief. The controversies are necessary, just as the implicit global embarrassment could have been avoided.”
Obi said that Tinubu owed the nation and the world an obligation to clear the doubts about his identity.
“Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu should have saved the nation and himself from this protracted embarrassment and undue anxiety. Even to this day, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu still owes the nation and the world an obligation that only he can discharge. I, therefore, humbly and respectfully call on him to immediately and personally mount the rostrum of his present high office to perform a simple task, once and for all time.
Obi called on Tinubu to reintroduce himself to the nation and the world, stating his name, nationality, place of birth, parentage, the primary and secondary school he attended with dates, as well as the actual universities he attended and certificates obtained.
He also called on Tinubu to indicate where and when he did his National Youth Service (NYSC), and whether he had ever had a change of name.
“This is a simple task that will take only a few minutes. It requires no affidavits, prolonged court process, spokespersons, agents or surrogates. The task is one that only Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu himself, through a direct personal statement, can perform.”
Obi said that Tinubu must perform this task urgently, in order to lay to rest, once and for the last time, the controversies surrounding his identity.
“A leader cannot outsource a clear or unambiguous personal statement about his identity to poetical surrogates, officials, spokespeople, lawyers, or any other person, no matter how highly placed. A mother of personal identity Of a leader is too sensitive and central to the function Of the office he currently occupies, to be trifled with, outsourced or disguised under the Cloak of officialdom.”
According to Obi, Tinubu’s true identity was a matter of grave national and international interest.
“In his present capacity as a leader of a nation of over 200 million Nigerians, his true identity is a matter of grave national and international interests. The people deserve to know with certainty the true identity of their leader, and this overrides whatever rights he may have to personal privacy. In addition, the international community deserves to know the true identity of the person with whom they will engage on Nigeria.”
The LP leader added that Tinubu had implicitly undertaken to cede the right of privacy of a citizen in favour of a life of open disclosure of his true identity, and other circumstances that might be of public interest.
“Having stood for an election of the elevated office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu has implicitly undertaken to cede the right of privacy of a citizen in favour of a life of open disclosure of his true identity, and other circumstances that might be of public interest. His personal integrity demands no less, the legitimacy of the office he currently occupies demands that much and even more. Respect for integrity and esteem of the Nigerian nation within the Committee of Nations makes it even more incumbent and compulsory.”