HOW will the international community perceive Nigerians? Foreign investors would have nothing to do with us again. These bland concerns summarise the embarrassing affairs of the past few weeks on the unclarity of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Should we be worried? Why should we be worried?
Issues of lies and tissues of lies are befuddling the matter.
One can earn a living powering befuddlement. Such fellows are not in a hurry to be unemployed. In their wake is top range shamelessness that the likes of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar headlines. He said that Nigeria had more important issues than what Tinubu is or not. Attention, according to him, should be devoted to Nigeria’s ailing economy and like matters, not on the administration that guarantees that Nigeria’s doldrums could be more enduring.
Tuggar was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany until less than two months ago. He studied at Bath, and Cambridge, and had been at the National Assembly. Our dangers multiple when a Tuggar, maybe because of political benefits, fails to acknowledge that the mutilated image of Tinubu is a present, pressing, persistent, and pertinent issue that should not linger.
We can assume that Tuggar does not realise the international community had access to his position which he presumed was strictly for the Nigerian audience. Sad to note that the Minister belittles the dire consequences of the unknown Tinubu.
Here are the issues, the tissues will follow:
.Did Tinubu attend Government College, Lagos, up to 1970? The school was founded in 1974. In earlier documents Tinubu schooled at Government College, Ibadan. By the 2023 election campaigns we learnt that he was home-taught in the tradition of royalties like the royal family in the United Kingdom. Tinubu’s family was rich enough to afford home education for him.
.Was it only Chicago State University that he attended? There is another document crediting him with earning a Bachelor’s in Economics from University of Chicago by 1976.
.When was Tinubu born? Was it 1952 or 1954?
.Is Tinubu’s gender male or female? One of the certificates used in his admission to Chicago State University identified him as “female”.
.Chicago State University confirmed that Tinubu attended and graduated from the university. It confirmed too that the certificate Tinubu parades was not issued by the university.
.Did Tinubu submit fake documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC?
.Did Tinubu lie under oath in 1999, 2003, and 2023?
Here are the tissues, they are the constant refrains to any questions about Tinubu:
.He is President, there is nothing you can do about it.
.A man who was Senator, Governor for two terms, now President should not be asked these questions.
.He is a democrat who staked his life for the democracy you are enjoying.
.You can go to court.
.He has done no wrong.
.Tinubu made the Dean’s List at Chicago State University.
.Let the other candidates provide their academic records.
.Foreign investors are falling over each to be in Nigeria because of Tinubu.
.Tinubu is a man of impeccable character.
.When he was busy building relationships across Nigeria, his opponents were sleeping.
.Did Muhammadu Buhari have a certificate? WAEC eventually said he had.
.Was he not President? It is a reminder about the impacts of precedents, another reminder of Tinubu’s promise to continue where Buhari stopped.
.Nigerians love Tinubu and voted for him. Of course, INEC said he scored 37 per cent of the votes cast.
.Severe and irreparable harm will be done to Bola Tinubu if the records are released, said Tinubu’s lawyer in court to make the point that his academic records at Chicago State University should not be made public.
None of the retorts to those seeking answers to who Tinubu is could have been more irreparably damaging than what Tinubu’s lawyer said in Chicago.
You made the Dean’s List. Your transcript radiates your brilliance. You had a certificate that Chicago issued. What then about you could be so damaging, and you know it?
What could Tinubu be hiding? What are the options available to him to keep hiding it? Has he been smashed to smithereens with the release of his Chicago papers?
Nigerians take anything and everything. We are beyond embarrassment. Who are the latter day saints pretending nothing was wrong with Tinubu being whatever he wanted no matter what the laws say?
The same people who would have accused Abubakar Atiku of anything that crossed their minds, if he had pursued the appeal without vigour, now turn on Atiku as lacking the hyped democrat credentials of Tinubu. Atiku’s offence is helping us to know more about Tinubu.
We still have to accept that it looks impossible to know Tinubu. Is it possible that Tinubu no longer knows himself?
People have tried to unveil Tinubu. Between The Source magazine and Chief Gani Fawehinmi, a lot was done in the earlier days of Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State to pull the veils off him. They almost damaged Tinubu irreparably.
The irony is that The News magazine, which Tinubu owns, was at the fore-front of the revelations that then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, no relation of Muhammadu Buhari, had falsely claimed to have earned a degree from the University of Toronto. Salisu resigned as Speaker on the blustery winds of The News’ stories
Salisu died in 2019. Salisu died politically in 1999. Twenty-four years after his forced resignation as Speaker, he has never amounted to much. Could that be the sort of finish off that Tinubu’s lawyer had in mind while making his plea in Chicago?
Anyone suggesting that Tinubu would resign does not know him. Irreparable damage to Tinubu means losing the presidency. It is not something he contemplates.
The implications of Tinubu’s Chicago saga are clear. Whatever he thinks of himself is unimportant. Those who advise him know what he wants to hear. The decibels of things pleasant to his ears are high.
Forgery, at the level of the Chicago State University diploma, claims of attending a school that had not been built, and uncertainties about age and gender, should revert our minds to organised crime. They are serious issues for anyone, especially one who is President. Just one of these items is enough for Tinubu not to be a local government legislator. They rather elevated him to President.
Tinubu represents a national tendency to dismiss things. These Chicago papers should have been sorted out 24 years ago. But our laws are asses for the powerful to ride for their pleasure.
What happens to Nigeria, Nigerians, our friends, and our foes? It would depend on the decisions we make. We are no longer in a position to decide Tinubu’s fate as president, except the Supreme Court judges.
It is important that we stand against the fact that Nigeria has acquired the dubious reputation of the first country the president’s academic qualifications are being queried in a foreign court.
We do not need the Supreme Court to determine that Tinubu has disgraced us, irreparably.
Correction: My apologies on my comment on the 4,000 oversea jobs that Governor Hope Uzodinma promised Imo youths. I calculated 4,000 one-way tickets the Governor said he would buy for them at N400,000 each and came up with N160 billion. The error is regretted. The figure should have been N1.6 billion.
Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues