By Ali Abare
Opposition political parties in Nigeria really like to waste time chasing shadows. Rather than dwell on issues, opposition parties instead go after insignificance. Now, they are focusing on alleged claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, doesn’t have primary and secondary school certificates, to drive their campaigns.
Just like the opposition did and without success back in 2015 as they harangued President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly lacking the requisite educational qualification to vie for the office of the president, the same opposition is now embarking on the same trajectory ahead of the 2023 general elections.
This is a sad commentary on the quality of opposition in the country. Obviously, the opposition are bereft of ideas to effectively challenge the ruling APC and they are now left with no option than to clutch at straws!
If the opposition cannot identify real issues with which to confront the APC and its presidential candidate, then they must not assault the sensibilities of Nigerians by regurgitating trivialities in the garb of political campaigns.
Only a lackluster opposition can see an accomplished individual like Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who worked as an accountant for ExxonMobil, an international oil company and still question whether he attended school or not when individuals like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Michael Dell, amongst others, straddled the global financial sphere without attending college.
Besides, the matter regarding Asiwaju’s certificate has since been resolved, even at the Supreme Court. It will amount to frivolity and absolute waste of precious time for the opposition or its agents in the guise of civil society groups, to re-awaken a matter long dead and buried.
Recall that there was a petition dated Aug 12.1999 about the educational background and age of Bola Tinubu written by Alhaji Jammed Seriki and Dr. Waliu Balogun – Smith, accusing the APC presidential candidate of age falsification while filling his form with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The matter went to the Supreme Court and the case was finally thrown out for lacking in merit.
Again, in June 4, 2013, Dr Dominic Adegbola resuscitated the matter by requesting Federal High Court Justice Saliu Saidu to re-open the suit earlier filed by the late Gani Fawehinmi in 1999. The suit was to compel the Inspector General of Police to commence investigation into alleged forgery. The court later dismissed the case.
For all that care to listen, the facts remain that the Chicago University where Tinubu graduated with a first class degree, has confirmed that Tinubu was a student of their university and he secured admission through Richard Daley College.
Certainly, if Tinubu was governor of Lagos State for eight years and he later became a senator of the Federal Republic, then the opposition has no business bringing up the matter of certificates but to rather dwell on key issues affecting the people such as high inflation, security, falling standards of education and corruption just to mention a few.
For the opposition political parties to now larch onto Tinubu’s alleged certificate controversy is confirmation that they are totally lacking in substance and direction.
The Jagaban Borgu is a man that has proved his mettle and Nigerians believe that with him at the helm of affairs of the nation, Nigeria will not only consolidate on the gains of the Buhari administration but will record tremendous change in terms of the economy, security, education and lots more.
While the opposition stew in its blindness and emptiness of purpose, BAT is coming!
Abare, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State.