Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, has asked President Bola Tinubu to come clean about his academic records and other personal details.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a response, said Tinubu “does not need a re-introduction” and has no identity problem.
Obi, at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said Nigerians deserved to know the true identity of their leader and “this overrides whatever rights he may have to personal privacy”.
He said Tinubu, having stood for an election to the elevated public office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has “implicitly undertaken to cede the rights of a private citizen in favour of a life of open disclosure of his true identity, and other circumstances that may be of public interest”.
Obi said he had followed the prolonged identity crisis that recently played out in the American court system and the controversy surrounding the authenticity of the Chicago State University credentials of Tinubu.
He said: “To outsiders, the entire Chicago State University matter as well as Bola Tinubu’s many other lingering identity question marks has further worsened Nigeria’s less-than-glorious image internationally.
“The controversy is unnecessary, just as the implicit global embarrassment could have been avoided. In my opinion, Chief Bola Tinubu should have saved the nation and himself from this protracted embarrassment and undue anxiety.
“He should re-introduce himself to the nation he governs and to the world for the avoidance of further doubt. He should let the world know his name, nationality, his place of birth, his parentage, the primary and secondary schools he attended with dates as well as the actual universities he attended and certificates obtained.
“He should indicate clearly where and when he did his National Youth Service. In addition, if at any time he has had a change of name, he should clearly state so and the circumstances.
“That, in itself, is no crime. This simple task should take no more than a few minutes. It requires no affidavits, prolonged court processes, spokespersons, agents, or surrogates. This task is one that only Chief Bola Tinubu himself through a direct personal statement can perform. He must perform this task urgently in order to lay to rest, once and for the last time, the many lingering doubts and valid speculations about his true identity.”
President has no identity problem, says party
The APC, in a statement signed by Felix Morka, its national publicity secretary, said Obi must know that Tinubu does not need a re-introduction.
He said: “He does not have any identity problem, except the one contrived by the Atikus and Peters of our political firmament.
“The 8.9 million Nigerians who voted him into office were, and remain, aware of his outstanding record and accomplishments as a defender of democracy, freedom, social and economic justice for over three decades. Nigerians know President Tinubu as a thoroughbred professional and former auditor and treasurer of Mobil Nigeria, now ExxonMobil.
“Nigerians know the President as a former Senator of the Federal Republic where he served as Chairman of the influential Finance and Appropriations Committee.
“They know him as a former Governor of Lagos State who designed and paved the pathway to the growth and prosperity of present day Lagos, the 5th largest economy in Africa.
“Nigerians know who they voted for as the 16th President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They voted for him with full faith and confidence that his track record and wide competences would help in the re-engineering of our country’s economy for the good of the greatest number of Nigerians.”
The ruling party said that regarding Tinubu’s academic record at the Chicago State University, the facts are clear and settled.
It said: “The Chicago State University has unequivocally stated over and over again, and in a deposition, under oath, by the Registrar, Caleb Westberg that President Tinubu attended the school and graduated with Honours.
“Nigerians are now familiar with the stellar academic performance of President Tinubu as evidenced by his transcript as released by the CSU with 18As, 10Bs and 3Cs grades.
“It is disturbing and utterly contemptuous of the courts of our land for the duo of Atiku and Obi to rail and pollute the public space with the very same issues that they have submitted to the court for adjudication. They have continued to perpetrate public deception, operating, simultaneously, as accusers and judges in their own base cause.”