Shehu Bashir, the Kwara State campaign coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections, has played down the public outcry trailing the controversy around the qualifications of the politician.
In the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form CF001 submitted on June 17, 2022, Tinubu did not provide details of his primary and secondary schools as the spaces were left blank.
He also did not attach copies of his certificates, which he stated in an affidavit had been stolen.
Details of the filings, which emerged following the publication of candidates’ particulars by INEC on Friday, have generated speculations that the APC standard bearer could be hiding some details or was unsure of his credentials.
As a result of this, many Nigerians have been calling on the APC chieftain to come out clean and clear the air about the saga around his certificates.
Nigerians on social media discussed the APC candidate’s forms, with many commenters taking extreme positions on the issue.
But while speaking on a Channels TV programme on Monday, Bashir said only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), can query the information submitted by the presidential candidate.
He said Tinubu would only react to the accusations making the rounds if the government institutions responsible to take action asked for further information.
“You don’t expect an election of this magnitude not to be scrutinised but that doesn’t mean that every scrutiny is correct or is in a good fate. Most of this scrutiny is actually in bad fate.
“We know how challenging it has been for people to come up with things against him (Tinubu) in the past. You know he has not been a candidate in any election for a long time. Now, he is a candidate for the biggest election in the country. So, we expect that this will come up.
“I think we have expressed so much opinion on something that has to do with legality or legitimacy of an action. I don’t think we need to bother so much. There has been a lot of debate on social media. Our opinion on social media cannot matter in reality unless a court so pronounces that such candidate does not qualify,” Bashir said.
He accused Tinubu’s political opponents of playing mind games, trying to put him in a bad light in the eyes of the electorate.
He, however, said the move is not affecting Lagos politician’s campaign, adding that “his campaign is going on fine.
“We are not taking it (saga) seriously because we know that no law has been broken.”