Tobi Aworinde and Tunji Bosun
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has said the contention over his academic credentials is an attempt at mudslinging, adding that he never claimed to have graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife).
A suit filed earlier this month at a High Court in Abuja sought Abiodun’s disqualification from the governorship race for allegedly giving “false information” in the academic qualification he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission
Abiodun, in an appearance on Sunday Politics, a live programme on Channels Television, however, said he had never misrepresented his educational credentials to anyone.
The APC candidate stated, “I never claimed to have finished from the University of Ife (now OAU). I did go to school in Ife. I went to school in the University of Ife but I didn’t graduate from the University of Ife. I never claimed to have obtained a degree from the University of Ife.”
When asked specifically about the Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree he claimed to have, Abiodun said he would not comment further.
When also asked to state the school he earned his degree from, the APC candidate said doing so would not be proper since the matter was in court.
“But that (degree) is not from Ife. This has all been an attempt to mudsling and confuse the electorate, and it’s bundled with a lot of half-truths.
“I never claimed to have studied Accounting at the University of Ife. I never claimed to have graduated from the University of Ife. So, this issue has been presented as the presenter wanted it presented. I do have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and I would like to stop at that.
“The electorate know that I went to school and I have not misrepresented to anyone about my degrees. But it would be convenient for those who are intimidated and afraid of my electoral success to continue to attempt to disparage me and to present the matter as falsely as it suits them. The facts are being distorted but we will leave the matter since it is in court.”
Abiodun also said the APC chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was not responsible for his victory at the party’s primary in Ogun State as reported in some quarters.
The APC candidate has been rejected by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who has endorsed Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement as his candidate.
Abiodun further denied claims that he won the primary as a result of his alleged closeness to Tinubu and a former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba.
He said, “These are accusations that have been thrown all over the place and it is not unusual in politics for people to mudsling and say things to try and bring the other person down. It’s convenient for people to say one is favoured.
“I don’t see how Asiwaju, who is our leader, favouring me, had influenced the elections. I never saw any endorsement before my election.
“Chief Osoba is the leader of the party in the state. He took me by the hand because I am now the candidate of the party, so everybody in the party must now support me. That is the way it works. The governor (Ibikunle Amosun) has chosen not to support me. Ideally, my governor and I should be on the same page.
“So, if you have emerged through a process and you have now become the candidate of the party, everybody who is your leader in that party in that state (and) outside that state, in that geopolitical zone, should be supporting you. Anyone not supporting you amounts to something else.”
Asked to confirm if he was the favourite of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in the primary, Abiodun said, “I don’t know about ‘favoured candidate.’ I don’t think primary elections are won by favoured candidates. Adams Oshiomhole did not come to conduct my elections in Ogun. I don’t see how anyone would begin to accuse Adams Oshiomhole as favouring me in place of some other persons.” (Punch)