In a motivational charge to Nigerians in India, President Bola Tinubu says young Nigerians can imitate his humble beginning, telling them how he took up menial jobs to survive though a brilliant student.
Mr Tinubu disclosed this in his address when he met with Nigerians in India on Thursday on the sideline of his official trip for the G20 Summit.
“Whatever you are facing here, I’ve gone through it. They are not new. I’ve been through them. I’ve been a guardsman. I was a tutor in school. I was a brilliant student. There was no semester I missed the dean’s list.”
The president said he was trained at Deloitte abroad before returning to Nigeria to work with Exxon Mobil and later joined politics, charging Nigerians in India to have a change of attitude and not feel despondent.
“You can also do it; do not be despondent in any way. Nigeria is ready to accommodate all. It does not matter which part of Nigeria you are from,” Mr Tinubu said, adding, “Good education brought me here, and I am happy to stand before you here as the president of Nigeria. I started small.”
Mr Tinubu’s statement came amid intense scrutiny of his academic records and the schools he attended, especially his credentials at the Chicago State University.
Last August, Atiku Abubakar requested court approval to subpoena Mr Tinubu’s files domiciled with CSU because he believed the documents would clarify glaring inconsistencies in Mr Tinubu’s background, including publicly available documents that suggested the CSU in the 1970s admitted a female student bearing Bola Tinubu who was born on March 29, 1954.
In a pushback against Mr Abubakar’s legal move, Mr Tinubu filed a motion to prevent a federal court in the United States from releasing his Chicago university’s academic records to Mr Abubakar, his principal opponent in the 2023 presidential election. Later, Mr Tinubu blamed the institution’s clerk for the discrepancies in his record.
Meanwhile, after the presidential election petitions tribunal affirmed Mr Tinubu’s victory, striking out all petitions, Mr Abubakar asked the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago for an expedited issuance of the “order of rights to discovery” of Mr Tinubu’s Chicago State University records so that he could use them to file his appeal at Nigeria’s Supreme Court within next 21 days.