Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, on Wednesday, challenged President Bola Tinubu to disclose his real identity and save Nigerians the shame his “controversial personality” is causing them.
Obi, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, said having followed the prolonged identity crisis that recently played out in the American Court System and the controversy surrounding the authenticity of Tinubu’s Chicago State University credentials, he is distressed as a Nigerian.
Obi said in addition to the barrage of media frenzy that the matter has triggered at home and abroad, he had been burdened with the task of responding to embarrassing questions about Nigeria’s overall credibility.
He said, “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 this protracted embarrassment and undue anxiety.
“Even this late in the day, however, Chief Bola Tinubu still owes the nation and the world a simple debt of obligation which 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.”
The LP presidential flagbearer said President Tinubu should let the world know his name, 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 and should indicate clearly where and when he did his National Youth Service.
Obi said, “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 which 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.”
The LP candidate, who is currently challenging President Tinubu’s victory at the Supreme Court, argued that a leader cannot outsource a clear unambiguous personal statement about his identity to political surrogates, official spokespersons, lawyers or any other persons, no matter how highly placed.
Obi insisted that 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 trifled with, outsourced or disguised under the cloak of officialdom, as it is also about integrity, morality, values and the rule of law that defines the character of the Nation and its people.
He added, “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 with certainty the true identity of their leader and this overrides whatever rights he may have to personal privacy. In addition, the international community deserves to know the true identity of the person with whom they will engage on 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 compulsory. It is time to do the right thing.”
Obi urged President Tinubu to personally address Nigerians and the world on his “identity crisis” the way he (Obi) had done at the press conference.