- The PDP chieftain was reacting to a United States Court order directing the university to release the academic records of Tinubu to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, has asserted that President Bola Tinubu has soiled the image of Nigeria with his Chicago State University scandal.
The Peoples Democratic Party chieftain was reacting to a United States Court order directing the university to release the academic records of Tinubu to the Presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
A United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, had on Saturday, ruled in favour of Atiku and ordered Chicago State University to release Tinubu’s academic record to the former vice president latest by Monday.
Speaking on the development, He said it was worrisome that authorities such as Department of States Services, National Intelligence Agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Embassy of Nigeria with its staff in Washington DC could not unravel the circumstances surrounding the academic history of the President, leaving the task for the Atiku.
In a statement, on Sunday, Chidoka said the scandal is a national disgrace.
“That all the aforementioned institutions allowed a man to be sworn in without definitive statements about his qualifications is a national tragedy. For 23 years the issue of President Tinubu has been a recurring decimal in our national equation. Under his reign, a current youth corps member is serving as Minister, and people under investigation by EFCC and made public are sitting in the Federal Executive Council. And they all passed through security screening.”
Chidoka said the leadership and relevant institutions of Nigeria should bow their heads in shame, if eventually it is discovered the occupier of the nation’s number one office forged his certificates.
He said, “I speak as a Nigerian. That it took the courageous activism of HE. Abubakar Atiku to force the discovery of information concerning the President of Nigeria is a disgrace to our national institutions.
“As a nation, we have a full retinue of staff at the Department of the State Security, the National Intelligence Agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Embassy of Nigeria with the full complement of staff in Washington DC and the Nigerian Judiciary that have variously ruled on matters concerning President Tinubu’s academic qualifications. Yet, we can not have a definitive conclusion about whether he has the academic qualifications he claimed he had or not. Disgraceful.
“The office of the President of Nigeria is so important both in its moral authority and its strategic importance to our national security and safety that nobody who has possible blind spots that can make him or her a potential asset for foreign intelligence or governments should be allowed a mile near that office. This should be a primary burden on all our national institutions. Legal technicalities and silence by state institutions should be deemed high treason.
“It highlights my previous statement that a constitutional amendment to finish all electoral cases before the assumption of office is now a matter of urgent national priority. The current disgraceful proceedings against a Nigerian President in a foreign court under election petition matters are damaging to our collective moral and legal standing as a people.
“If it turns out tomorrow that our President presented a forged certificate to INEC, Nigerians will bow their heads globally in shame. On the other hand, if it turns out that his certificate is genuine, again our reputation as a people is still in tatters because of the failure of national institutions to perform due diligence no matter who is involved. On both counts it reinforces global perceptions and prejudice against Nigerians. We all bear the burden.
“A forged certificate finding leaves President Tinubu in a vulnerable position morally and legally. As he did not present primary and secondary certificates to INEC, a forged CSU certificate makes him unqualified to stand for the office of President as he does not possess the minimum qualification S.131(D) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. of course, the next issue is the case of perjury, the presentation of false documents under oath.
“How INEC, accepted a university degree without the qualifying certificates would continue to be a national mystery. A language in our electoral legislation to forestall such obvious infractions is required.
“The decision of the District Court and the whole proceedings is not a moment of triumphalism but a sober moment of introspection. It is a moment when as a nation we ask ourselves:”