On Friday 13th February, David Lyon, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Bayelsa governorship election who was overwhelmingly voted for by the people was at the parade ground rehearsing his final salutations and moves in preparation for his swearing in ceremony the next day, 14th February 2020.
But, just as he was about dismounting from the open air van in which he had his practice, the news broke that the Supreme Court had declared his rival in that election, Douye Diri of the People’s Democratic Party as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa State. David Lyon, who was barley 24 hours from being addressed as the Executive Governor of the oil rich State, went home dejected.
David Lyon won that election by a margin of over 200,000 votes, having polled over 353,000 votes to Douye Diri’s 145,000 votes. But, the Supreme Court ruled that the votes cast for the All Progressives Congress in that election were null and void having established that the Deputy governorship candidate, a serving Senator at the time had supplied information in his nomination forms that were deemed to be false.
In effect, the APC was denied what would have been a very sweet victory for the Party, as it struggled to consolidate its foothold in the Southsouth.
It is expected that this Bayelsa experience should have taught the governing Party some vital lessons on how to ensure that it presented only candidates that can win elections, but this is not to be. Even though, as an immediate aftermath of the painful loss of Bayelsa State, the Party under Adams Oshiomhole strengthened its screening processes to ensure that would-be candidates presented unquestionable qualifications and academic records.
However, this has not been sustained following the controversial sack of Adams Oshiomhole. The succession of Mai Buni’s interim leadership and the current leadership of Abdullahi Adamu have been regrettably lax in ensuring that its candidates’ particulars are beyond reproach.
The Electoral Act and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria empowers only political Parties to disqualify its candidates, because the Constitution expects the Parties, who own the mandate to be enjoyed by these candidates to take absolute care in ensuring that there candidates are qualified in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With mind boggling revelations being churned out about the background of the governing Party’s Presidential candidate, it is as good as given, that the APC will be in for another heartbreaking legal tragedy in the coming days, as, at least, two political Parties have already filed suits at federal high courts seeking to have the undisputed godfather of Lagos politics, disqualified from the presidential race.
The interesting thing about these suits is that the litigants are not relying on some privately obtained information about Bola Ahmed Tinubu but from the information he personally supplied and swore to with an affidavit.
There are very obvious inconsistencies in Tinubu’s particulars as supplied to INEC. Let us take a look at some of them;
AS PER TINUBU’S CLAIM TO HAVE LOST HIS CREDENTIALS AND NOT HAVING ATTENDED ANY PRIMARY OR SECONDARY SCHOOL: There are actually more than a 100 ways that Tinubu can retrieve his academic credentials, if truly they are missing.
This includes writing to the institutions he attended to make a duplicate of the document from their file copy. Isn’t it a mandatory requirement for multinational corporations recruiting staff to request that such applicants present their academic credentials to test their qualification or otherwise for the position they are applying for? Bola Ahmed Tinubu, by his own confession, did work as an auditor with Mobil Oil company for close to ten years.
Is it, by any stretch of imagination possible that there wasn’t a panel that interviewed him for the job? Did he not submit his academic credentials to the personnel department of Mobil before he was enrolled as a staff? Recovering copies of his credentials would be as easy as walking to the headquarters of Mobil in Nigeria and seeking to recover the duplicate copies of these documents.
Tinubu ran for Senatorial election in 1992. Apparently, he supplied his credentials to the electoral umpire, so he can also retrieve these credentials from the Commission. I do not believe that Tinubu’s house was burgled and his documents seized or destroyed.
For a man, who boasts about being a planner, a thinker and an organizer, it would have been unimaginable for him to have left his house on exile without taking what must have been his most important possessions at the time; his academic credentials.
Tinubu’s dodgy background should be a serious cause for concern to the Party and to any group or individual who wish the Party well in the elections. Beyond the legal dangers of his candidacy, there are also reasonable fears over the backlash this might have on the Party’s electoral fortunes. No reasonable Nigerian voter would want to cast his or her vote to an individual whose background is shrouded in controversy.
For instance, Tinubu’s parentage is a serious cause for controversy, too. How do you explain that a man, as wealthy and as powerful as the ruling Party’s presidential candidate and a former governor of Lagos State cannot boldly tell a story of who his father is, when he died and how he was buried.
Could any of Tinubu’s friends or political associates remember attending Tinubu’s father’s funeral? Where does Tinubu really hail from?
Where are Tinubu’s classmates. All over the world, Alumni Associations are good outlets for older men to keep in touch with their friends from their younger days.
Which of these alumni does Tinubu belong to? How did he become literate to the point of been able to secure admission into a university in the US, even without attending any primary school or secondary school? How did he qualify for admission into that university?
For a man positioning himself to preside over the affairs of over 200 million people, some of these questions need to be answered and answered convincingly.
And in a situation where the Party cannot provide convincing and legally impenetrable answers to these questions, then, they can organize a new mini primaries, in line with the provisions of the new Electoral Act to elect a more credible presidential candidate, to save the Party the impending electoral disaster that continuing with Tinubu as its candidate, portends.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Daily Report Nigeria