Phrank Shaibu, Special Assistant on Public Communications to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said that while former Nigerian leaders including Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Shehu Shagari, have traceable origins, President Bola Tinubu cannot satisfactorily prove his ancestry.
He said that the Senate would not have confirmed Tinubu as a minister if he was on the list of ministerial nominees sent for confirmation, rather, he “would have been chased out of the hallowed chambers of the Senate if he had come with questionable credentials?”
According to him, “Isn’t it tragic that a man who cannot scale a mere ministerial screening is now serving as President of Nigeria? A Nigerian tragedy indeed!”
According to the Atiku’s aide on Sunday, origins are important because they give a sense as to where you may end up.
He said, “But it is quite surprising that a nation of over 200 million people which prides itself as the Giant of Africa is being piloted by a man who has no known origin and continues to fight to ensure that it remains hidden.”
He noted that Nigeria’s first leader, the late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, “was born in December 1912 in modern-day Bauchi State at a time when data storage was rare. Despite the shortcomings of the time, Tafawa Balewa has a traceable history.
“Balewa’s father was Yakubu Dan Zala and was of the Gere ethnicity. Balewa’s mother was Fatima Inna, who was of Gere and Fulani descent. His father worked in the house of the District Head of Lere, a district within the Bauchi Emirate.
“Young Balewa was among the children sent to Tafawa Balewa Elementary School, after the Qur’anic school. Thereafter, he proceeded to Bauchi Provincial School. Like many of his contemporaries of that era, he studied at Katsina College, where he was student number 145. Ahmadu Rabah, later known as Ahmadu Bello, was student number 87 and was two years his senior.
“President Shehu Shagari was born on 25 February 1925 to the family of Aliyu and Mairamu Shagari. He attended Yabo Elementary School and then Sokoto Middle School and Kaduna College before graduating from Teachers’ Training College, Zaria. In his book, ‘Beckoned to Serve’, Shagari lists the names of his classmates, teachers, and even the palace servant who took him to school.
“However, Bola Tinubu, a man who claims to have been born in 1952, cannot satisfactorily prove his ancestry. Not only is the identity of Tinubu’s father and mother unknown, but he neither has classmates nor siblings. Ahead of the presidential election, he passed off a photo of former Governor Donald Duke as his own. Clearly, there ought to be limits to fraud.”
Shaibu questioned how Chicago State University which Tinubu has claimed made mistakes on his diploma certificate including identifying him as a female, will explain Tinubu’s gender and age, which was altered by two years, and a middle name changed from Ahmed to Adekunle while signatories were clearly different on the certificates.
He said, “This is certainly more than a clerical error. How is it that only Tinubu’s certificate had grammatical errors, signature errors, and wrong fonts?”