A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has implored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revoke the National Merit Award of Grand Commander of the Niger (GCON) bestowed on former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
According to the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations and Political Parties for Good Governance, the inquiry into Tinubu’s certificate at Chicago State University in the United States is an embarrassment to the nation, and People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, national convener of the coalition, Dr Ogbole Ene Lilian, maintained that Atiku should be stripped of national honour his, saying his actions amount to mockery of the collective sensibility of a people committed to the ideals of constitutional democracy.
She said, “We are not shocked or perplexed that Atiku is going to such lengths because he has always been a bad loser and an undependable ally. He is definitely not the man we can comfortably entrust Nigeria to, given his appalling and nauseating leadership antecedents.
“The fact that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar serially lost his bid to become the President of Nigeria isn’t enough reason for him to deliberately drag the image of Nigeria and that of the coveted office of the Vice President, which he once occupied, in the mud. This is unacceptable to us, and we will not sit back and watch him do such things.
“As stakeholders in the business of nation-building, we wish to use this medium to call on His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to utilise the authority conferred on him by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended to protect the image and interest of the country by stripping Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
“You will agree with us that a man with Atiku’s character is not honourable and doesn’t deserve to keep the award meant for honourable men and women of repute”.
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Dr Ogbole insisted that derobing Atiku of his GCON honour will also serve as a deterrent to others so that Nigerians can begin to attach some regard to the office of the president.
She said, “We are not surprised that even when the highest authority and institution saddled with the responsibility of authenticating the president’s certificate have revealed the needful, these baseless, unfounded, and trivial allegations by these individuals have not been put to rest. The motives are very clear: to distract our President and government, but unfortunately, they have failed woefully.”
The CSOs commended President Tinubu for the level of maturity, decorum, and sportsmanship he has exhibited so far in the face of distractions.”
Dr Lilian said, “The day he came out what happened? Nigerians were amazed. It was like why were they hiding him from us. He is a man of decorum and high intelligence. He is an experienced man that has seen it all. He knows when to say what and when not to say what.”
“At least it is still within his fundamental rights to answer questions when he wants to answer questions, particularly when those questions are thrown to him. There would be a time he would do that. Already, his foot soldiers are already making it known to everybody.”
“At My rate what else do you want to hear when the institution involved has come out to say look this man came to our school and even mad their phone lines open for everyone in the world to make inquiry. The school itself swore and said this man came to our school and obtained the certificate.”
“When the BBC one of the prime media stations in the world has made enquiry and has certified him free and clear. And these things have been internationally buried. Whatever they are saying now is just noise.”
“The world is at peace with what they found out. When these opponents begin to display maturity in the way they talk, act , he will come out and answer them.”
“We are convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, submitted authentic academic certificates and valid information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and if anyone has doubts over his submissions, the responsible thing to do is to come forth with evidence to the contrary.”
“It is, therefore, irresponsible and asinine for anybody to doubt the validity of Mr. President’s submissions to the electoral commission based on unfounded speculations, like Alh. Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi have done.”