Yunusa Tanko, the Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organization, has refuted rumors that their candidate, Peter Obi, is carrying his brother’s University of Nigeria academic certificate.
Tanko also criticized the Lamidi Apapa faction of the Labour Party, accusing them of attempting to tarnish Obi’s image among Nigerian voters.
This response was issued in a statement in Abuja on Monday. The controversy began when Abayomi Arabambi, the Spokesman of the Labour Party faction, pointed out discrepancies in Obi’s academic certificates during an interview on AIT News. This incident is part of the wider debate surrounding President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University certificate, which has been challenged by Obi and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In response to Arabambi’s claims, Tanko defended Obi, emphasizing that there was no impersonation, and clarified that Obi couldn’t be using his late brother’s UNN certificate because they pursued different courses.
Tanko said, “Obi in his capacity as Labour Party standard bearer had innocuously advised the embattled President to rest the certificate-gate around him and save the country further embarrassment by reintroducing himself and putting the records straight.
“A simple patriotic advisory that was informed by belief in anything that is connected to national development, but their hirelings, freebooters and lawless adventurers prefer to insult our candidate with fabrications.
“In one of his pieces of fiction, they claimed that Obi was impersonating his dead senior brother; a farce, slapstick comedy from hell. Obi’s most senior brother is alive. One of his senior brothers who died was in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN years ahead of Obi and read Computer Science while Obi read Philosophy.”
Speaking further, he described the Lamidi Apapa faction as “political hirelings and buccaneers” saying that they enjoy indulging in “menial work of character assassination to ostensibly soil the name of our Presidential candidate.”
Noting that both Arabambi and Apapa are no longer with the leadership of LP, Tanko said, “At the forefront of these malicious hatchet jobbers, is Dr Abayomi Arambabi, who dubiously continues even to identify himself as a member and Publicity Secretary of Labour Party. He and Chief Lamidi Apapa have been going about merchandising with the name of the party and endlessly castigating our flag bearer who we are proud to say is the most popular and loved Nigerian politician today.
“As they go about using the name of the party, none has said anything positive about Peter Obi as the presidential candidate of the party they claim. That speaks volumes. Instead, they have even been more vociferous against Peter Obi than their sponsors, yet they claim they are of the Labour Party.
“Is it not time the media houses blacklist them for wearing the devil’s coat and speaking on the saint’s platform. After all, none of them or their family members voted for Peter Obi.”