In light of the controversies surrounding President Bola Tinubu’s academic records from the Chicago State University (CSU), the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, says the administration cannot waste time on such “trivial matters”.
Tuggar, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, said that the controversy does not cast a shadow on some of the president’s recent international engagements.
“There is a tendency to always try to distract people on such frivolous issues as opposed to facing the major issues of development. We don’t have time to waste on that,” he said.
He argued that a former president, Muhammadu Buhari, experienced a similar issue.
“Nobody is wasting time about certificate qualification for somebody who has been a governor of a state, served two terms, and has been on the national stage as a politician.
“You remember that (former) President Buhari had to go through the same thing, where people were actually questioning whether he went to secondary school or not. Someone who had classmates and was the captain? He was a head boy,” he said.
The minister claimed that during Tinubu’s recent international meetings, no one has shown interest in the saga.
“The foreign leaders that we’ve been engaging and the international organisations clearly are disinterested in wasting time on such.
“We pay no mind to that,” Tuggar stated.
He added that due to the critical situation of the nation, Nigerians should not be obsessed by certification.
Instead, he asked them to concentrate on development.
”With the economic challenges we are facing, we shouldn’t be wasting time about some certificate; whether there is a T missing or an I hasn’t been dotted. That shouldn’t be our primary focus at the moment,” he argued.
His comment came in the wake of Atiku Abubakar’s demand for Tinubu’s credentials from the US varsity.
The presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the US District Court in Northern Illinois to compel the Chicago State University (CSU), to release President Tinubu’s academic records, arguing that it would boost his suit challenging his election in the February 25 poll.
He had requested the documents for use in Nigerian courts to support his argument that Tinubu forged a certificate he claimed to have obtained from CSU in 1979 and submitted to Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the 2023 presidential election.
Following his move, a US Court ordered CSU to release Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku.