Bola Tinubu Should Not Diminish His Biggest Accomplishment – Skipping Primary and Secondary Schools

Bola Tinubu Should Not Diminish His Biggest Accomplishment – Skipping Primary and Secondary Schools

Many have asked me to comment on Bola Tinubu’s certificate saga, I am not really interested in that. The only thing I can do here is to make my certificate public (here). I hope if you are running for a ward councillorship in Nigeria, you will be decent enough to do so if people ask. Hopefully, you get some votes for doing just that.

Politics aside, Senator Tinubu has an uncommon capability to demonstrate that as a young man he possibly outperformed. Yes, he might not have attended any primary or secondary school , due to life issues, but he attended a university and graduated. In my village in Ovim, we have two brothers who wrote and passed ICAN (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria) right out of secondary school  without ever attending any post-secondary school. One of those brothers later became a CEO of one of Nigeria’s largest conglomerates and today is the CEO of the largest most diversified investing firm in Nigeria. His brother founded a finance house and managed many financial institutions. 

But not attending primary and secondary school  is uncommon – and if indeed that was Tinubu’s case, he has a message. His advisors should tell him to own that and make it a positive. I am grateful that I went to primary and secondary schools in Ovim. But if I had not, and still attended FUTO, that would be the biggest part of my resume: “no primary or secondary school education but a competent college graduate”.

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I met the founder of Laureate Education in Baltimore a few years ago. He owns many universities around the world. But he never attended any university. As we chatted, I saw a big irony: he skipped university but decided to create dozens for people!

That is BAT’s case: there is no need to hide the uncommon accomplishment of skipping primary and secondary education, and yet rose to become the governor of Lagos State. Is that not what American bestsellers write? By making this look abnormal with clusters of opaqueness, he diminishes an uncommon life story. Come out and tell young people: “many of you here are grads. My family could not even send me to primary and secondary school. But against all odds, I attended college through waivers and here I am. You can do better than me”. 

While the Youth Leader in RCCG Jos during NYSC, I preached a message when the National Assembly was removing ex-speaker Salisu Buhari. In that message, I said that we must learn many things here: this guy forged his age to become older because he possibly outperformed age limits. I asked the congregation to learn from his faults and the miry clay he found himself. Tinubu should own his background because that is uncommon and really cool. Who did not attend primary school here? Then add secondary school education.

This election is important for Nigeria; I am extremely unhappy that the big 3/4 are not debating. Nigerians must compel them instead of softball managed town-halls.

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Comment 1: Even the university he is said to have attended….a subpoenaed document from Chicago State University contains information that does not correspond with the details he submitted on his INEC EC9 form.
You can read more here:

My Response: Even on that university certificate, the school confirmed he did attend. He also graduated from the school record. What confuses me is why he would use an internet certificate when his real school could have sent him one, overnight first class mail. The semantics of graduating on say 22nd or 27th is none issue. If you asked me the exact date I finished from FUTO, I am not sure it will match what the school has in its records: for me, it was the day I defended. But the school can pick the day senate approved the degree.

The core issue for Mr. Tinubu is using internet certificate when the school could have sent him a real one. It is simply unreal indeed!

Comment 2: …”many of you here are grads. My family could not even send me to primary and secondary school. But against all odds, I attended college through waivers and here I am. You can do better than me.” This would have been a better selling point. However, in this case[for the reasons best known], such “an uncommon accomplishment” has been completely, consistently denied and[in the process] totally diminished.

Comment 3: People can keep chasing shadows about Bola Tinubu.
He has demonstrated uncommon ability on many fronts.
Instead of focusing on substance, many of his social media detractors continue to chase shadows about him.
His accomplishments in and off politics should have elevated the debate beyond primary and secondary school certificates. But this is Nigeria where we spend most of our times on sentiments and pedestrians issues.
Someone rose to become the Treasurer of Mobil Oil in record time and we are here debating whether he attended primary and/or Secondary School.
Someone who was Governor of Lagos State for two terms and has remained the main driver behind the development of Lagos State for more than two decades.
I hope some people will not commit suicide if INEC eventually declares Bola Tinubu as our President-elect in February 2023.
To proactively preclude suicide, I think it’s time for those vehemently opposed to him to start given some serious thoughts to the possibility of Bola Tinubu becoming our next President!

My Response: I am not sure this comment helps the nation. People who are asking are not chasing shadows. We need to be fair, balanced and objective in Nigeria. In 1999, Nigeria removed a speaker because he lied about his age (he was younger than his age). A senate president was removed because he said he was called to the bar (he was not), being open matters. I have not written this to suppress this agitation, rather to ask BAT to change his mind and address it.  Nigeria has a right to debate and ask questions just like if someone is coming to work for your company or office, you ask for basic background to hire/engage. My point is that a man who has accomplished these things should own up to them and use them as pillars of his candidacy.

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3 thoughts on “Bola Tinubu Should Not Diminish His Biggest Accomplishment – Skipping Primary and Secondary Schools

  1. He did not attend all these schools. The Chicago University that confirmed a Bola A. Tinubu attended their school, indicated the gender is F (female). I know forgery is common among politicians. He has not said anything about these accusations. The last time an issue of his missing primary and secondary school certificates were raised, his lawyers “defended” him. Meanwhile, I know they did not defend if he had a certificate or not. They defended that he is not under obligation to produce the said documents.

    I am personally not that bothered about the availability of the documents but about his arrogance. It is bothering me because it is one of the reasons why Nigeria and Africa is backward. How can you be this arrogant and defiant when the facts show you are in trouble. I am also bothered about the fact that people will be faking certificates in 21st century.

  2. Not attending primary and secondary is not really an issue, if the person meets constitutional requirements to run for public office, with respect to educational qualifications. The major problem here is that what is true and factual about the man Tinubu remains very fluid, and that brings lots of doubts and uncertainties. For some of us who value heritage and ancestry, you cannot discount family history, so it’s not enough to show us what you have accomplished, we still want to know who you really are, before we can confer you with any form of legitimacy at all.

    Did Tinubu skip basic education or he changed his name? We do not know, but for something this weighty, those with questionable background and shameful past would want us to downplay such, because everything about them was built on lies.

    A president is an institution, so what happens when you have a president whose background and ancestry is both confusing and unknown? It does not inspire and it challenges the legitimacy of such institution.

    One can win election by whatever means, but when you do so on immoral and unethical foundation, it will lead to unwarranted misfortunes in the land. Hopefully, time will take care of everything.

  3. That he failed to attend primary and secondary school makes his achievements all the more remarkable. However, his inability to explain how his life progressed from birth till date makes him a suspect. He clearly lacks integrity. If a man wants to marry one’s daughter and he lies about his qualifications, his date of birth, his parenting, his work experience and where he acquired his university degree, any normal parent will chase the man away so as to save his daughter from a liar. Should we then not be saved from this danger who also has drug-related charges to go with the above? Haba


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