By Paul Ibe
In the last 24 hours or thereabouts, we have seen an avalanche of trolls on social media and some sections of the mainstream media that seek to query the educational credentials of Atiku Abubakar.
We acknowledge these inquiries as being healthy because they seek to probe the truth.
We also notice that a lot of those who engage on the issue are supporters and aides of President Bola Tinubu.
Quite a number of their engagements suggest presenting a duality of allegations of forgery that put Atiku Abubakar at a parallel with the forgery committed by President Tinubu in his documentations to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
To start with, Atiku Abubakar wrote his WAEC examination in 1968 with the name Siddiq Abubakar.
Every elementary student of Islamic civilization will not find it hard to decipher that both Siddiq and Atiku are names that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gave to his bosom friend, Caliph Abubakar. Therefore, Siddiq and Atiku are names that have a historical link to one person in Islamic theology.
Atiku Abubakar, knowing full well the importance of proper documentation, went ahead in 1973, more than 50 years ago to depose to an affidavit that he would wish to be known officially as Atiku Abubakar and still keeps the original copy of that affidavit up to this day.
The meticulousness that has been displayed by Atiku in this instance shows an example of an upright man.
However, while it has only taken Atiku less than 24 hours to come out with full disclosure on his public records, President Tinubu has lived behind the veil for more than half of a century.
Since 1970 when President Tinubu came under public record to have falsified his academic credentials by claiming to have graduated from a school that was nonexistent, the narrative of his public profile continues to get dirty and messier by the turn of every decade.
The latest in the rigmarole of President Tinubu’s life of forgeries and falsification of documents is the recent declaration by the Chicago State University that it is not the issuer of the certificate that Nigeria’s president presented to INEC in the run up to the 2023 presidential election – an act that constitutionally disqualifies the offender from the election.
It is thus in this note that we call on President Tinubu to follow the example of Atiku Abubakar by coming before Nigerians and the world to explain how he got about his name, his educational background, the history of his early years, the true owner of the Southwest College transcript with which he got admission to the CSU, why he refused to go and retake his pre-qualifying examination for the admission and, more importantly, how he came about the discredited and forged certificate of the Chicago State University that he submitted to INEC.
If President Tinubu refuses to take the lead set by Atiku, Nigerians and the world will forever judge him through a popular Yoruba proverb translation that says: “the upright walk on the straight path, only the crooked beat corners.”
- Paul Ibe is Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Vice President of Nigeria (1999-2007) and Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (2023) Abuja.
11th October, 2023.