By Abiodun OBA

The 2023 presidential candidates of the Labour Party and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso respectively have been called upon to join in fighting for justice for the country.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar made the call during the world press conference held in Abuja on Thursday following the deposition of President Bola Tinubu’s academic records by the Chicago State University (CSU).

CSU released Tinubu’s certificate to Atiku upon the order of an American court, a development that has generated reactions among Nigerians.

Speaking in Abuja, Atiku said he was not fighting for himself but for the country.

“This quest is not for or about Atiku Abubakar; it’s a quest for the enthronement of truth, morality, justice, and accountability in our public affairs,” Atiku said.

“In line with this, let me call on all well-meaning Nigerians, leaders of thought, religious, traditional, community, and political leaders.

“In particular, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP, leaders of political parties in Nigeria, and every single person who loves this country as I do, and who wishes nothing but the best for this country to join me in this campaign to enshrine accountability, and the basic principles of justice, morality, and uprightness in our country and in our government.”

Atiku, said the reputation of Nigeria is at stake following the certificate scandal of President Bola Tinubu.

Atiku in the world press conference, extended his profound gratitude to Nigerian youths for bringing the issue to limelight.

“Political leadership and active citizenship matter because they are ways in which we all work together to build a country that works for all who live in it and who will come after us.

“Our country (Nigeria) is bigger than anyone of us and is standing in wall that affects the faith of all who come and live in this great country.

“As leaders, it is our duty to advance the well-being of all our people and the country. For this purpose, my generation worked hard to retire the soldiers to the barracks and to defend the rights of the people to elect and establish for ourselves legitimate government.

“We must entrust these facts to all our citizens and leaders of our institution charged with interpreting our constitution,” he said.

When asked if he could be intimidated to dropping the certificate fight, against President Tinubu, Atiku replied, “The case is still in court. I’ll only drop this fight if the court rules. If the court rules that I’m right, fine, if the court rules that Tinubu is right, fine. There’s no other court higher than the Supreme Court. That is where it all ends.”

Atiku also disproved allegations that he betrayed Tinubu, who many see as his former political ally.

His words, “I disagree with Tinubu, yes it’s true that we came together in 2007. In Lagos, at the convention, I emerged winner and got the party’s ticket. After I got the ticket, he sent me about five or six senior party men, and they met me and said Bola (Tinubu) wanted to be my running mate.

“I said, gentlemen, you are all old enough, and asked, what would be your reaction to having a Muslim-Muslim ticket?

“They all answered that they objected to it, I then told them they should have told him and that was the end of the political relationship; he (Tinubu) broke away, and supported Umaru Yar’Adua. So what is the ground for him to say I betrayed him?

“In 2003, the PDP took over all the southwestern states with the exception of Lagos. I stood between Obasanjo and Tinubu and told Obasanjo to leave Lagos, and he left it. I vehemently deny that I stabbed Tinubu in the back.

“Till today, I won’t do a Muslim-Muslim ticket; I don’t have to be president; we are a multi-ethnic and multi-religious people, and our government must reflect our diversity, and our composition must reflect the same.”

Recall Atiku had secured the release of Tinubu’s education records from the CSU through a court subpoena, against the disclosure by the President.

Tinubu’s academic documents were released on Monday, October 2, following the order by an Illinois court which ordered the varsity to release the academic records as requested by Atiku.

The released records, which came first on October 3 and a deposition on Tuesday, showed that Tinubu’s 1979 CSU certificate he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was different from samples of the certificates the University issued to students that same year.

Under oath, CSU Registrar said he could not authenticate the certificate Tinubu presented to INEC.

There has been debate on the authenticity of the certificate Tinubu submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with many Nigerians calling for the immediate resignation of the former.

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