April 17, 2024

CSU Controversy: Akwa Ibom Governor Distance Self from Atiku, as Presidency Condemns Atiku, PDP for Casting Tinubu’s Certificate in Bad light

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By Correspondent

The Presidency has replied critics, especially the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), that the deposition by the Chicago State University that was requested by Atiku Abubakar has authenticated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s certificate.

The Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Tope Ajayi, both issued statements condemning Atiku and the PDP, on what they called “the attempt to cast in the bad light, the degree certificate submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu before the February 25 election.”

They condemned some opposition members’ claim that the certificate is fake, even after the release and deposition to it by Chicago State University.

Tuggar, described Atiku’s claim of forgery as frivolous, and diversionary efforts by the PDP candidate to rubbish President Tinubu’s credentials.

While speaking on a national television, Tuggar said that the controversy does not cast a shadow on some of the president’s recent international engagements.

Tuggar insisted that the administration is not distracted, said: “There is a tendency to always try to distract people on such frivolous issues as opposed to facing the major issues of development. We don’t have time to waste on that.

“Nobody is wasting time about certificate qualification for somebody who has been a governor of a state, served two terms, and has been on the national stage as a politician.

“The foreign leaders that we’ve been engaging and the international organisations clearly are disinterested in wasting time on such.”

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Tope Ajayi  in a post on his verified X handle, @TheTope_Ajayi, said: “We should be clear. In the deposition made by the Chicago State University, there was nowhere the university said the certificate presented to INEC by President Tinubu is fake.

“The university insisted under oath that President Tinubu graduated with honours and even at that, replacements for lost certificates are done by vendors, not the University.

“The claim that President Tinubu submitted fake certificate to INEC does not make sense. A man can not forge the academic records he possesses. You can only forge what you don’t have.”

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Governor Umo Eno and the state chapter of the PDP has denied backing Atiku’s action at the Chicago State University. Governor Eno said: “I am not backing Atiku over forgery allegations.”

In a statement by the state PDP publicity secretary, Borono Bassey, the party distanced the governor  and the party from social media reports that they were celebrating Atiku’s efforts.

The chapter described the reports as fake and concocted by disgruntled and mischievous persons to discredit Eno before President Tinubu.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Akwa Ibom State was drawn earlier today (yesterday), to an obviously fake news item being circulated on social media alleging that our party and His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Leader of  PDP, Pastor Umo Eno, was secretly celebrating Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s efforts in ‘exposing’ President Tinubu’s alleged fake certificate.

“We hereby state as follows: The matter which is the subject of the fake news is in court and therefore, subjudice. By that very fact, neither the governor or the Peoples Democratic Party at the state level is competent to comment on it.

“The governor as a law abiding citizen, who believes in the supremacy of the law, has tremendous respect for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, the PDP whose platform Pastor Umo Eno was elected as governor, and the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“The governor of Akwa Ibom State is not a party on record in the suit referred to in this  rumour and therefore, can only await the judgment of the court, and he will join in the usual respectful and deferential chorus of “as the court pleases.”

“We urge well meaning Nigerians to ignore the ill-intentioned attempt to drag the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and the State Chapter of our great Party, the PDP into a matter that is undergoing the processes of law.”

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