… Asks What is President Tinubu Afraid of ?
In a significant development, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has made strong the chorus of voices demanding complete transparency concerning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records as allegations of identity fraud continue to swirl. The controversy surrounding Tinubu’s educational history took a fresh twist as he recently sought legal action to prevent the release of certain confidential information.
HURIWA, in a media statement on Tuesday, noted that the criticality of the issue lies in its potential to uncover identity fraud. emphasizing the full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records is essential for ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and upholding democratic values.
“In a recent legal development that has captured widespread public attention, President Bola Tinubu finds himself at the center of a controversy as he petitions United States District Judge Nancy Maldonado to restrict Chicago State University (CSU) from releasing confidential educational records, including admission documents, transcripts, and gender-related information. In a surprising twist, President Tinubu consented to disclosing only his certificate to the legal team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
“The core of this legal dispute revolves around Atiku Abubakar’s pursuit of transparency regarding President Tinubu’s academic qualifications, particularly his alleged enrollment at Chicago State University, where he claimed he attended. With Nigerians demanding full disclosure, President Tinubu’s resistance has cast a cloud of uncertainty over his educational background”.
The statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, underscored the importance of transparency in the governance of any nation, citing Nigeria’s constitutional protection of the right to access information under Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution. The organization contended that Nigerian citizens have an inherent right to know the educational background of their political leaders, particularly presidential aspirants, as this information can significantly impact their ability to lead the nation effectively.
Continuing, HURIWA questioned the consistency and transparency of the electoral process in Nigeria. Given that President Tinubu wasn’t prodded to tender the certificate or information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the first place, the organization argued that full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records from CSU aligns with the principles of open government and upholds the public’s right to know.
Therefore, HURIWA aligned itself with the call for transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s electoral process, imploring all relevant parties to uphold the principles of open government. “The release of President Tinubu’s academic records is believed to be a significant step toward enhancing transparency and credibility in Nigeria’s democratic processes. Nigerians have an unequivocal right to the truth, and this right should be respected in the spirit of democracy and good governance.
“Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, Director of Research and Documentation of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, has made a statement supporting Atiku’s insistence on releasing President Tinubu’s academic records. Obaseki had alleged that this action aims to expose identity fraud and uncover the true owner of the disputed certificate. He also expressed confidence that the release of these documents could compel the Supreme Court to consider fresh evidence in support of ongoing petitions”.
Relatedly, HURIWA echoed concerns regarding the recent judgment by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) and its interpretation of the law concerning the Federal Capital Territory. The organization emphasized the need for the Supreme Court to address this matter and uphold the constitutional process for amending the 1999 constitution.
Additionally, HURIWA raised questions about President Tinubu’s economic policies and their impact on the nation’s development. They highlighted his decision to remove the fuel subsidy and devalue the naira, suggesting that these policies have adversely affected the economy and contributed to widespread poverty.
Finally, HURIWA commended the call for the prosecution of INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made by Dr. Obaseki, who accused him of complicity in manipulating the electoral process to favor a specific political party while advocating for a thorough investigation into the allegations to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.