The Spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Council, Senator Dino Melaye, last Thursday, made a series of claims about the candidates of the two major political parties in the country – Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress, and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.
He spoke on Channels TV Politics Today, where he reacted to comments earlier made by former governor of Edo State and APC Chieftain, Adams Oshiomole, who featured on the same programme a day before.
CLAIM 1: Atiku is the
only Presidential candidate talking about restructuring.
Asked to speak on Atiku Abubakar’s plans for the country rather than attacking the
personality of his opponents, Melaye said his principal was the only candidate
talking of restructuring. “He is the only presidential candidate that is
talking of restructuring of the country today”
This is also not true, as other presidential candidates have expressed their support
for political and economic restructuring of the country. Omoyele Sowore, the
candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) included restructuring in his
manifesto and has pledged, at different fora to implement it, if elected
In fact, Sowore strongly believes that Nigeria’s 1999 constitution is detrimental to the country’s progress, and has vowed to champion the overhaul implementation of the statute book. The activist-cum politician is consistent in his argument that the constitution was imposed on Nigeria by the military government, hence it was anti-people. He also made a case for economic
restructuring in his plans for the country.
Another notable candidate who has expressed his support for restructuring is Peter Obi of the Labour Party. Although the former Anambra State governor was yet to
uphold a policy document detailing his plans, he has been consistent in his
advocacy for economic and institutional restructuring, at different fora. At a
public lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, last year, he argued that
restructuring would boost Nigeria’s economy and end insecurity. He said he was opposed to states depending absolutely on Abuja. He stressed that “restructuring the country will bring out the comparative advantage of every
state and our natural resources that are lying waste will be fully harnessed to
boost state economy.”
Also, in a 7-point agenda document tagged “Our Pact with Nigeria”, which he claimed was still under review, Obi promised to “Embark on comprehensive legal and
institutional reforms and practicable restructuring measures, to fight
corruption, enthrone rule of law, and an all-inclusive and effective government.”
CLAIM 2: Tinubu did not attend his mother’s burial because of shame
VERDICT: No evidence
Melaye said the former Lagos State Governor did not attend his (Tinubu’s) mother’s burial because of the shame of alleged false identity. His words: “Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s mother died a few years ago. Because of shame, because he is ashamed of himself because he has identity problem, he could not attend his own mother’s burial.”
It should be noted that Tinubu’s biological mother is not known to the public, however, his foster mother was Madam Abibatu Mogaji, the former President-General of the National Association of Market Women and Men.
Ripples Nigeria found that Tinubu’s mother, Abibatu Mogaji, died on June 15, 2013, about nine years ago. Media reports show that he did attend the burial, and paid his last respect to Madam Abibatu.
While the first claim is false, the second claim cannot be confirmed. Perhaps, Dino
Melaye has information on Tinubu’s real mother that is not in the public domain.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka
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