Nigerians express mixed reactions over Tinubu’s missing certificates

A FORMER Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, will lead Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections as its presidential candidate, but his academic qualifications have once again been trending as questionable.

In a sworn affidavit in support of his nomination form for the office of the president, which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu said his academic certificates were stolen by unknown persons while he was in self-exile for four years.


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“I went on self-exile from October 1994 to October 1998 (and) when I returned, I discovered that my property, including all the documents relating to my qualifications and my certificates in respect of paragraph 3 above were looted by unknown persons,” he stated.

A former Head of State, Sani Abacha, had clamped down on academics, activists and other technocrats opposed to his regime from 1994 till his death in 1998.

While Tinubu failed to disclose details of his primary and secondary education in the INEC form, he said he attended the University of Chicago between 1972 and 1976, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

This contradicts his previous election submissions in 1999 when he ran and won the Lagos State governorship election.

Then, he had claimed to attend St Paul Children’s School, Aroloya, Home School, Ibadan, between 1958 and 1964.

He also claimed to have done his secondary education at Government College, Ibadan (GCI), between 1965 and 1968. From Ibadan, he said, he proceeded to Richard Daley College, Chicago, from 1969 to 1971.

Although many Nigerians have been doubting these claims by Tinubu, the Chicago State University in the US had maintained, formally, that the APC presidential candidate did attend the institution and was one of its best graduates.

Tinubu had worked for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and GTE Services Corporation while in the US.

Upon returning to Nigeria in 1983, Tinubu joined Mobil Oil Nigeria and rose to be the Treasurer of the company, before he quit to start participating in politics in Nigeria.

The ICIR gleaned the reactions of netizens on Twitter about the possibility of a presidential candidate with questionable academic certificates eventually emerging president of the country.

A Twitter user, whose handle is @AbdulMahud01, posted this text on his handle.

Tinubu will be challenged in February 2023 by Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Labour’s Peter Obi, among others.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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