There are people known in Yoruba worldview as Àkàndá (special beings). Everything about them is a mystery (Àdìtú). They get away with everything that would easily consume other mere mortals. Two of such men are from a state in the South-West of Nigeria. They are almost agemates, but perennial enemies. One is a retired soldier, and the other, an Alákòwé (a lettered man). Both had on many occasions in the past, survived the ‘bullets’ of the enemies – physical or metaphysical.
There was also another man I knew, who died years back. He was the oldest in his village. He died at a very old age; well above 100 years. In one of his village meetings, he once told the reigning oba (king) then that he had seen four different obas on the throne. He named them all. Then he made a vow, to wit: the reigning oba would be the last he would know. The villagers chorused Àse (Amen). There are many stories about the old man. Many hated him with palpable passion, and not a few also loved him very dearly too. His life was a mystery because each time anything we thought would consume him happened; the old man would bounce back, stronger, and fresher. So, we got inquisitive, and we became probing. This is what we were told about him.
At his birth, the Oracle was said to have predicted that whether he did evil or good, he would live long, and that many would worship him. That is called “Orí àpésìn” (the destiny that must be worshipped), in my place. Truly, until he breathed his last, the old man’s home was a Mecca of sorts.
In our contemporary history, the one who shares the old man’s traits is our new husband, President Bola Ahmed (Adekunle) Tinubu. Don’t pay attention to the new name, Adekunle, in parenthesis. It is one of the mysteries of the phenomenon called Tinubu! Our president’s Wikipedia page was edited some three days ago, precisely on October 7, 2023, at exactly 1.03pm; “Adekunle” was inserted. Oh, yes! A man answers any name that suits him!
President Tinubu is a Muslim. But I suspect he was born a Christian and may also be a distant cousin to the Biblical character, Melchisedec. The two of them share so many things in common. Melchisedec was rich. Tinubu is super-rich. Melchisedec was a king and a priest. Tinubu surpasses that. He started as a palace courtier, graduated to become a crown prince (Àrèmo); became a Duke (Governor of a region); established himself as an Afobaje (kingmaker), and finally emerged as His Imperial Majesty, the King of Nigeria (President). That is not all between the two.
Melchisedec received tribute and homage from the noblest of his era, Abraham. Tinubu’s abode too receives scores of such nobles every day. Melchisedec prayed for Abraham, and
he became so rich. Tinubu ‘blesses’ his hangers-on with political patronage and the poorest of them begin to swim in megabucks overnight. The most striking of their resemblances has to do with issues of their past and ancestry. Both grew up without any known peer, group, or playmate. Nobody has any record of Melchisedec’s family background; not even the Bible and its numerous histories is able to solve the riddle
This is how the Bible describes Melchizedek in Hebrews 7: 3: “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Neither the Lander brothers: Richard Lemon Lander (1804-February 6, 1834) and John Lander (December 29,1806-November16,1839) nor Mungo Park would have been able to discover where Tinubu hails from.
Age-wise, Tinubu is old. He doesn’t know his real age himself otherwise, we wouldn’t have had the various discrepancies that have been found now on his date of birth. That has also been explained as a typographical error! Officially, our new husband says he is 71 years old. We will accept that for whatever it is worth. Appearance does not depict age, anyway! Seventy-one years of age is a good one in Nigeria considering the benchmark of the 55 years life expectancy in the country.
The mystery would have been solved if Nigerians were privileged to run into Tinubu’s childhood friends, playmates, and primary school classmates. Since those ones are in short supply due to the Melchizedek nature of the man, we would make do with the given age. If he had claimed to be 65 years old, how would we have authenticated that? That would have been a bigger problem; bigger than the rigorous exercise Atiku Abubakar, Tinubu’s main challenger in the February 25, 2023, elections, embarked upon in his search for the latter’s Chicago State University (CSU)’ academic records.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) did something on “Philosophy of Lying”. In the piece, the BBC quoted the Italian priest, Thomas Aquinas, as identifying three hierarchies of lies to include: “Malicious lies” (lies told to hurt), which the priest described as “mortal sins”; ‘Jocose lies’ (lies told for the fun of it), which he said, “are pardonable” and “Officious’ or helpful lies”, which he also said “are pardonable”.
The Dominican priest, however, concluded that “all lies are wrong.” Going further, the BBC’s piece quoted yet another philosopher, the German Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who strongly believed that lying was always wrong. Kant said that: “Lying to someone is not treating them as an end in themselves, but merely as a means for the liar to get what they want.” The philosopher submitted that: “If there was a universal law that it was generally OK to tell lies then life would rapidly become very difficult as everyone would feel free to lie or tell the truth as they choose, it would be impossible to take any statement seriously without corroboration, and society would collapse.”
In yet another material, UKESSAYS.COM, an online platform, in an April 28, 2017 article titled: “The Principles of Lying”, identifies three classifications of lies to include “beneficial lies, spiteful lies, and neutral lies.” Spiteful lies, the article says “mean that you gain something while hurting someone else.” Then it adds: “People for years have been putting falsifications on their résumés to make it look appealing, and to create a sense that they are perfect for the job. Ethically it is fine to do so as long as you keep it to only one or two lies on it and you keep to a low level. By low level meaning you can’t falsify years at college or years in a job you have never obtained…”
The article cited the case of one Jane Cooke, who used false documents and claims to get employed by the Washington Post. Cooke had to resign when her cover was blown after she was given an assignment based on her submitted résumé, which was far above her natural aptitude. Using both “Virtue “Utilitarian” ethics, the article relies on Kant’s assertion that lying is morally wrong because: “To tell a lie contradicts the part of oneself that gives them moral worth. To receive a lie takes away a person’s free choice to decide other than what they would have had they known the truth. The two reasons lying is morally wrong, according to Kant, is lying contradicts the part of me that gives me moral worth and lying robs others of their freedom to choose rationally.”
I have heard about legal searches for properties. Lawyers and estate valuers do that to establish the real owners of the property so that the intended buyer(s) will be sure of what they are buying. The CSU’s search for Tinubu’s certificate(s) is novel in all ramifications! And it is the most rigorous of all searches. It started over two decades ago. Precisely, Nigeria and Nigerians have spent the last 25 years searching for the academic credentials of President Tinubu. The first ‘Mungo Park’ in the voyage of discovery is the late fiery lawyer and human rights crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. He searched for Tinubu’s credentials and got himself pelted with rotten tomatoes at a Lagos High Court, where a fellow ‘human rights fighter’ was on the other side defending Tinubu. It was only last week that Nigerians began to have faint ideas of the contents of Tinubu’s academic records. Even now, nobody knows the real picture. Ordinary certificate(s)?
I may be ignorant, please pardon that. But, let me ask this: Is it so difficult to ascertain the schools a ‘First Class Graduate’ attended? What is the big deal in knowing the contents of the academic records of a brilliant student? I have a friend, who made a First Class in my set at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. His name is Abiodun Adefioye. Abbey, as I call him, rose to become a Managing Director of Rosabel, one of the biggest Advertising agencies in the country. In my former place of work, you needed to see how I used to announce Abbey as my friend and classmate anytime his name was mentioned. You would have thought his certificate belongs to me. God save my neighbours that I did not make a First Class; dem for dey hear words from my mouth! It is the same First Class record that Tinubu and his handlers are fighting to hide from us! Isn’t that strange?
The Tinubu-Atiku CSU matter is before the highest court in Nigeria. I try as much as possible not to comment on any matter before our courts as a matter of principle. And I am not breaking that rule here. There are so many things I find strange in this case. For instance, I was alarmed when Tinubu’s lawyers filed objections before the United States of America (USA) courts that releasing the president’s academic records to Atiku would cause Tinubu “severe and irreparable harm!” A First-Class academic record will hurt the owner? How? Would the records show something different from the academic ‘brilliance’ Tinubu and his boys keep touting? Then, again, while you expected Tinubu’s media boys to tell us that they had implicit confidence that the
outcome of the search would be positive for their principal, what they told us is that no matter the outcome of the CSU search, it would not
have any effect on the matter before the Supreme Court! Haba! This is Nigeria anyway. We have even heard Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs),
telling us that Atiku cannot file “fresh evidence” at the Supreme Court again! Really? So, these folks admitted that there is “fresh evidence” but due to technicalities, which have ruined our judiciary, any felon can get away with any crime! Sad for them, all.
I don’t want to delve deep into the merits or demerits of the outcome of the depositions by the CSU officials. They are as shameful as they are embarrassing. That is for the Supreme Court to determine. This will, however, not go without saying that many Nigerians, including yours sincerely, have lost confidence in the ability of our judiciary to rise to the occasion and do what is right. Whichever way the case goes, posterity will write everyone’s name according to his deeds or misdeeds. The CSU official has told us that fakery “is a Nigerian thing”. One thing I am sure of is this: there is no way anyone will defend the Tinubu’s CSU saga without sounding cretinous! The same fellas who were ready to draw the blood of the Anambra State
adolescent, Mmesoma Joy Ejikeme, who, in June this year falsified her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) result, are all out now to defend Tinubu and the certificates he submitted to INEC. Funny lots! Even when the registrar of CSU deposed to the fact that what Tinubu submitted to INEC as certificate did not emanate from the university, the president’s Vuvuzelas came up with their as thick as two short planks argument that in the USA, certificates could be obtained from a third-party vendor. Is that part of the CSU depositions? No! It is simply what it is: a propagandist invention from Abuja! The question is: how many of Tinubu’s supporters will employ a ‘graduate’ with an Oluwole copy of his/her certificate? How many of them will show Oluwole drivers’ license to officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the highway simply because they ‘lost’ the original?
There is a saying that if the thief has lost his sense of shame, his family members should retain theirs. That is not the case here. I don’t know why it is difficult for the hallelujah boys to note that it is much easier for Tinubu to line up his course mates, school mates and teachers alike to affirm his studentship at the university, than his running up and down asking the courts to disallow access to his ‘enviable’ academic records. How many of such mysteries are they defending anyway? Tinubu’s age? His place of birth? Ancestry? Where he worked and who he worked for or with? What about his primary and secondary schools? St John’s Primary School, Aroloya, Government College, Ibadan or Government College, Lagos? Which set? 1972 or 1974 set? No classmates or schoolmates? What about his date of birth? Which year do we pick among the three dates flying about: 1952, 1954 or 1955? All typographical errors, including his gender of being a male, female, or hermaphrodite; or he simply suffered from True Gonadal Hermaphroditism? The issue before us and the moral burden on us all, but more importantly on the Justices of the Supreme Court who will sit in adjudication over the matter, is not Tinubu’s studentship at CSU. The main issue is the authenticity of the certificates he submitted to INEC as prerequisites for the presidential elections. Are the certificates fake or genuine? Are they original or forged? If they are genuine or original, Nigeria has no problem. But if they are fake or forged, the Justices of the Supreme Court (JSC) are to determine and interpret what the extant laws of the land say about such infraction. In a saner community different from ours, ordinarily, on moral grounds, one would have expected that with the depositions by the CSU, the man in the eye of the storm would have shipped himself out of Aso Rock, voluntarily. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, such virtue is in short, or no supply, at all! Shame! Our last hope is the Supreme Court. I do hope My Lords, the JSC, are aware that all eyes are on the judiciary!