A claim that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu changed his name over the years to what he currently bears has gone viral.
A Facebook user, Jackson Ude, had on Sunday made a post on a page, Nigeria Cycle, alleging that Tinubu had another name on his primary and secondary school certificates.
Nigeria Cycle was created on July 6, 2020 with the name, Edo Citizens Forum. It was changed to Bellview Org on the 20th of the same month and later to Nigeria Cycle on August 22, 2020.
The page has 9,913 people who like it and 12,227 followers. A search of the website on the page, www.nigerevent.blogspot.com, did not yield any useful information as to the identity of the user and their mission.
The post reads: “Bola Tinubu’s real name is: Yekini Amoda Ogunlere from Iragbiji Osun State. That is what is contained in his primary and secondary school certificates and that’s why he has refused to tender them before INEC.”
Daily Trust found that the claim had once gone viral on nairaland in August 2014 and is only being recirculated.
On Twitter, a user @Officialmanny4 had also alleged that, “Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s real name as contained in his primary school certificate is ‘Yekini Amoda Ogunlere’ from Iragbiji Osun state. He changed to Tinubu after being wanted for drugs related crime in the 70s in US. That’s why he didn’t tender them (the certificates) to INEC.”
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Friday published the personal particulars of 16 presidential candidates and their running mates who will be contesting the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu did not provide any information on his primary and secondary education neither did he attach certificates for his tertiary education.
Instead, he attached an affidavit to the INEC form where he claimed that his certificates were stolen after he went on exile during the late General Sani Abacha era.
The affidavit reads: “I went on self-exile from October 1994 to October 1998. When I returned, I discovered that all my property, including all the documents relating to my qualifications and my certificates in respect of paragraph three above, were looted by unknown persons.
“My house was a target of series of searches by various security agents from the time the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was forced to adjourn following the military takeover of government of 17th November, 1993.
“I was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, banking and finance. I was also a plaintiff in one of the two suits against the interim national government in 1993.
“I went on exile when it became clear to me that my life was in danger,” Tinubu said in his claim.
However, Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, didn’t capture any previous change in Tinubu’s name.
Nigerians have been reacting to Tinubu’s inability to state the names of schools he attended and produce copies of his certificates. This claim is believed to have fuelled such speculations that he either did not school as presumed or he is hiding some details about himself that could mar his chances in the forthcoming election.
There is no sufficient evidence to support the claim that Bola Ahmed Tinubu changed his name in the past for whatever reasons and he has always held that he is from Lagos State.
This fact check was produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)