Monday, 30 October 2023 04:56

‘We should cover our faces as Nigerians that the man produced to be our president has this baggage of certificate forgery’ - Ayo Adebanjo

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Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, says Nigerians should be ashamed to have a president with a certificate “baggage”. 

Adebanjo spoke in a 41-minute interview published by PUNCH on Sunday. 

During the presidential election tribunal, Atiku Abubakar, flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, had contested the authenticity of the Chicago State University (CSU) certificate presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Bola Tinubu.

Tinubu had said he lost his original certificates and presented a replacement of his CSU diploma to INEC for the 2023 presidential election.

Following a court order, the university later released Tinubu’s academic records, saying his replacement certificate matched its format.

But the Afenifere leader said without technicalities, no honest person can defend Tinubu on the matter.

“There is no truth in what he says. That’s the unfortunate thing. I feel sorry for the country, particularly Tinubu defenders, can they be proud? Whether true or not, why is it him? When they finally produced the record from the university, it was even more damaging,” Adebanjo said. 

“In this Tinubu saga, you presented the certificate from the university, now they are trying to change (the conversation) to his attendance at the university. 

“How many people attended the university and never completed it or even dropped out? You said you attended and have the certificate, and the registrar said they don’t know about the certificate. What more do you want?

“This is what makes me sad in this country and those still saying something in defence of this ugly situation where we should cover our face as Nigerians that the man produced to be our president has this baggage. I am concerned.”

Adebanjo said he had defended Tinubu on the certificate scandal in the past because of the little knowledge he had on the matter.  

“Mind you, I should be one of those who should be proud that Tinubu is the president of this country because I made him the governor of Lagos state. When this certificate saga started, I was the one who defended him. I defended him from the fact I saw at that time. But when some facts are now coming up, I folded my arms,” he said. 

“Forget technicalities, do the substantial justice. Can any honest person, in view of the exposure from the university, say he (Tinubu) got that certificate from the university?”


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