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President’s certificates shouldn’t be your priority now, Tinubu’s Minister tells Nigerians

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has asked Nigerians to shift their focus away from President Bola Tinubu’s certificate saga and focus on national…

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has asked Nigerians to shift their focus away from President Bola Tinubu’s certificate saga and focus on national development.

In an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, Tuggar argued that Tinubu’s academic qualification should no longer be a concern given his long-standing political career and having served as a two-term governor.

Highlighting the need for a united stance on national development, the minister urged Nigerians to avoid being derailed by trivial matters such as certificate controversies.

He said the focus should be on addressing pressing issues, including the country’s economic challenges and its rapidly growing population.

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He said, “Nobody is wasting time about certificate and qualification for somebody who has been governor of a state, served two terms, he has been on the national stage as a politician.

“President Buhari had to go through the same thing where people were actually questioning whether he went to secondary school or not. Someone who had classmates, someone who was a head boy and all of that.

“So there is tendency to always fight to distract, to distract people on such frivolous issues as supposed to facing major issues of development. We don’t have time to waste on that.

“And you know, the foreign leaders that we have been engaging and the international organization clearly are disinterested in wasting time on such thing. We pay no mind to that.

“Nigerians should focus on development and every Nigerian because of critical situation we are in at the moment, our population growing at 3% per annum, the economic challenges we are facing, we shouldn’t be wasting time about whether (in) some certificates ‘t’ is missing somewhere or ‘i’ hasn’t been dotted. That shouldn’t be our primary focus at the moment.”

On ECOWAS stance on Niger crisis, the minister clarified that the regional body did not declare war on Niger, but was considering all options.

“What the ECOWAS leaders said was that they are taking a front position against what happened and they are considering all options including military option. It didn’t mean that we are going from 0 to 200 kilometers per hour, just declaring war on Niger.

“We do not have a problem with Niger Republic. Nigerians and Nigeriens and one and the same. We have the same people, we have the same history, culture, background and heritage.

“Our problem is not with the citizens of Niger, our problem is with the military juntas or should I even say with the Presidential Guard that took president hostage,” he said.

Regarding Nigerian students stranded in Cyprus, the minister called on state governments to always involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their international engagements.

“Sometimes we don’t even have the information, we are playing catch up and really the onus is on those state actors to keep the ministry of Foreign Affairs involved.

“Perhaps if they had involved us, then we would know about it and we would be able to react immediately or actually even step in to try and find some sort of relief. I would like to use this opportunity to really urge state governments to please keep us informed so that we continue to work hand in hand,” he said.

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