By Abiodun OBA
The Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has described the allegation of certificate forgery against him as blackmail designed to discredit him ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
A social-political group, the Ondo State Redemption Initiative (OSRI), has accused the Governor of alleged certificate forgery.
Reacting on behalf of his Principal, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ebenezer Adeniyan, argued that the credentials of his boss are in the public domain, duly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) while running on a joint ticket with his late boss, former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in 2020.
“Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous plans by some political actors to embark on fresh, unsubstantiated allegations against the Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
“After failing woefully with their attempts to paint the Governor in bad light with the stories around the death of the former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, these desperate elements have resorted to blackmail.
“It is important to alert members of the public to this plot, which is aimed at discrediting Mr. Governor ahead of the coming governorship election in the state.
“Mr. Governor contested in a joint ticket with his former principal in the 2020 governorship election, and his credentials were duly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and those are in the public domain.
“Any attempt to raise allegations around the credentials of Mr. Governor is nothing but a plot out of the playbook of those who failed in their efforts to impeach him when he was Deputy Governor.
“Mr. Governor remains committed to delivering on his promises to develop Ondo State and will not be distracted by the shenanigans of shameless politicians and their cronies.”
OSRI had disclosed that Aiyedatiwa, in his resume, claimed to have acquired an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan in 2001.
According to the group, in a statement signed by its President, Pastor Adebayo Ogunsanmi, Secretary, Jide Oriola, and Publicity Secretary, Sunday Ayeni, checks have proved that an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration was not available at the University of Ibadan as of 2001.
OSRI said: “Aiyedatiwa’s educational journey began at Saint Peter’s UNA (now FAC) Primary School in Obe Nla/Obe Adun, Ilaje LGA, Ondo State, where he attended from 1970 to 1976. He then pursued his secondary education at Ikosi High School in Ketu, Lagos, completing it in 1982.
“In 1986, Aiyedatiwa achieved his Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) in Economics and Government at Lagos State College of Education (now known as Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education), located in Ijanikin, Lagos.
“He claimed to have earned an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan in 2001, after which he claimed to have become an alumnus of Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University, situated in Lekki, Lagos, though year and course of study were not included.
“He further claimed to have obtained a Post Graduate Certification in Chief Executive Education (CEP) in Business Management, after which he received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Liverpool in the UK in 2013.”
The group maintained that Aiyedatiwa’s academic records were not true and warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against fielding a candidate with questionable academic records.