The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has issued a challenge to President Bola Tinubu and his team to address allegations of certificate forgeries and spare Nigeria’s image from further damage.
At a press conference in Abuja, a team of Atiku’s aides, led by Paul Ibe, criticized what they viewed as distractions from President Tinubu’s camp regarding an alleged discrepancy in an affidavit that Atiku signed over 50 years ago.
The media advisers argued that, while allegations of certificate forgeries and impersonation surround President Tinubu, his team appears to be fixated on a seemingly inconsequential matter related to the date Atiku’s affidavit was signed.
They stated, “Since the discovery of documents from Chicago State University, revealing a series of certificate forgeries and impersonation by President Bola A. Tinubu, his media aides have attempted to shift the narrative towards the public life of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
It was clear from the outset that the media aides and supporters of Bola A. Tinubu were picking at Atiku Abubakar’s public profile until they found a point of contention.
“It was amusing to watch them scramble in search of a suitable topic, much like a person frantically trying to avoid spilling water. Their relentless pursuit was fruitless.”
The team of media advisers continued, “Eventually, they focused on the fact that Atiku’s affidavit, expressing his desire to be known as Atiku Abubakar, was signed on a Saturday. This discovery seemed to thrill them.
For President Bola A. Tinubu’s team, the fact that a person called Bola A. Tinubu was discovered to be the name of a female, or that he submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, or that he was a student four years before the school’s establishment at Government College Lagos, held no importance.
“All that concerned them was finding a flaw in Atiku Abubakar’s public profile. As Fela Anikulapo once said: ‘I be thief, you be robber! You are also a thief’ is not a defense against an accusation of theft.”
The media advisers went on to highlight their research into the registry of the Lagos State high courts in 1973, which revealed that court papers were indeed signed on Saturdays that year. They asserted that Atiku Abubakar’s affidavit was not the only one signed on a Saturday.
The team concluded by calling on President Bola A. Tinubu to follow Atiku Abubakar’s example and address doubts about his past. They urged him to provide a copy of his 1970 certificate used for admission to Chicago State University and reveal the location where he allegedly printed the forged certificate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
They also mentioned concerns about potential discoveries by the FBI and other U.S. anti-crime agencies, which could reveal information about President Tinubu. The advisers stressed that Nigeria is a country of laws, and everyone, regardless of their status, must abide by these laws.
In closing, the team expressed hope that their clarification on Atiku’s Saturday affidavit would put the matter to rest, allowing President Bola A. Tinubu’s team to address their own history of forgeries and lies. They emphasized that Nigerians are waiting for a resolution to the ongoing controversy that has brought embarrassment to the country.