Full Text of Peter Obi’s press conference


The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) during
the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, on Wednesday addressed a press
conference in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.


Obi used the medium to call on President Bola Tinubu to come
out and clarify the controversy surrounding his identity and academic records
at the Chicago State University.


He also spoke about the international embarrassment the
incident has brought on Nigeria.




Having followed the prolonged identity crisis that recently
played out in the American Court System and the controversy surrounding the
authenticity of the Chicago State University credentials of Chief Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, I must confess that I am distressed as a Nigerian.


In addition to the barrage of media frenzy that the matter
has triggered at home and abroad, I have had the unwholesome burden of
responding to embarrassing questions about Nigeria’s overall credibility as a
nation to privileged audiences and individuals both at home and abroad in
different parts of the world where I have travelled lately.


To outsiders, the entire CSU matter as well as Bola Ahmed
Tinubu’s many lingering identity question marks has further worsened Nigeria’s
less-than-glorious image internationally. Uninformed outsiders now see every
other Nigerian as a potential fraudster, certain forger, or identity thief. The
controversy is unnecessary just as the implicit global embarrassment could have
been avoided.


In my opinion, Chief Bola Tinubu should have saved the
nation and himself from this protracted embarrassment and undue anxiety. Even
this late in the day, however, he still owes the nation and the world a simple
debt of obligation that only he can discharge.


I call on him to immediately and personally mount the
rostrum of his present high office to perform a simple task once and for all
time. He should re-introduce himself to the nation he governs and to the world
for the avoidance of further doubt.


He should let the world know his name, nationality, his
place of birth, his parentage, the primary and secondary schools he attended
with dates as well as the actual universities he attended and certificates
obtained. He should indicate clearly where & when he did his National Youth
Service. In addition, if at any time he has had a change of name, he should
clearly state so and the circumstances. That, in itself, is no crime.


This simple task should take no more than a few minutes. It
requires no affidavits, prolonged court processes, spokespersons, agents, or
surrogates. This task is one that only Chief Bola Tinubu himself through a
direct personal statement can perform. He must perform this task urgently in
order to lay to rest, once and for the last time, the many lingering doubts and
valid speculations about his true identity.


A leader can’t outsource a clear unambiguous personal
statement about his identity to political surrogates, social spokespersons,
lawyers, or any other persons no matter how highly placed.


A matter of the personal identity of a leader is too
sensitive and central to the functions of the office he currently occupies to
be tried with, outsourced, or disguised under the cloak of officialdom.


It is also about integrity, morality, values & the rule
of law that denies the character of the Nation and its people. In his present
capacity as a leader of a nation of over 200M Nigerians, his true identity is a
matter of grave national and international interest


The people deserve to know for a certainty the true identity
of their leader and this overrides whatever rights he may have to personal


In addition, the international community deserves to know
the true identity of the person with whom they will engage in Nigeria.


Having stood for an election to the elevated public office
of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Bola Tinubu has
implicitly undertaken to cede the rights of a private citizen in favour of a
life of open disclosure of his true identity, and other circumstances that may
be of public interest. His personal integrity demands no less.


The legitimacy of the office he currently occupies demands
that much and even more. Respect for the integrity and esteem of the Nigerian
nation within the community of nations makes it even more incumbent and


It’s time to do the right thing.


Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


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