My certificates genuine, Aiyedatiwa tells APC committee

In response to the academic certificate forgery allegation levelled against him recently, the Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has told the All Progressives Congress screening committee for the upcoming governorship election in the state that his credentials are genuine.

The governor said this on Friday when he became the first aspirant to be cleared by the APC screening committee ahead of the party’s governorship primary slated for April 20.

Having bought the party’s N50 million governorship nomination forms, the governor had in recent times been having a running battle with some other aspirants on the party’s platform in the state, among which are Mr Wale Akinterinwa, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin, Prof Francis Faduyile, Mr Isaacs Kekemeke, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), Mr Gbenga Edema, and Senator Jimoh Ibrahim.

The battle had centred on his credentials, following a petition written by a legal practitioner, Oladotun Hassan, to the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Police Service Commission, alleging that a top-ranking officer was planning to tamper with the report of an ongoing probe into the governor’s academic certificates.

But addressing journalists at the APC national secretariat after his screening on Friday, Aiyedatiwa said, “Screening is one of the processes aspirants have to go through. Mine has just been done this morning and all documents that were submitted have to be verified and questions asked where some are not too clear to the screening committee. Questions were asked and answered.

“At the end of the day, I have been cleared, especially on the issue that has to do with my certificate that a petition was written. Today, that has been put to rest. My certificates are genuine and authentic.

 “I think it is a kind of mischief by some aspirants who see me as the man to beat and had to look for a way to discredit my person. Today, it has been verified and put to rest.”

According to Aiyedatiwa, the then governor of Lagos, Lateef Jakande, was compelled to merge some schools, particularly those affected by a flood, with the Ikosi High School that he attended.

“As a student of history, you will recall that in 1989 when Lateef Jakande became governor of Lagos State private schools were taken over. Schools were built for the communities. And Ikosi High School that I attended is one of those schools built by the government of Lateef Jakande.

“So, it is on record that the school was established in 1980 and at that time, I was already in Form three in a private school, New Nation, in Ikosi while Royal Comprehensive High School is in Ajegunle Ikorudu, very close to Ketu,” he added.

But in his reaction at the screening, another aspirant, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, taunted the governor, even as he displayed his entire academic and award certificates to journalists at the screening.

Ibrahim said the governor was only trying to ride his way into the Government House again on the back of the ticket of late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and a few endorsements he got from the State House of Assembly.

He said, “As you can see, all my credentials and certificates are complete. What has Aiyedatiwa achieved? He was just a pair to Aketi. We didn’t vote for him. It was Aketi we voted for. But I can assure you, the governor is a huge joker. He can’t continue in government with his P8 and P7 (alleged grades). The governor will be out of that place by the time we finish the APC primary next week. He is gone and there is nothing he can do about it.

“I don’t normally go against people. Left alone to me, clear everybody and let them go for primary. Let the electorate decide. I have won the election as senator. I won in six of the six local governments, 65 of the 66 wards, and bagged 111,677 votes as against Agboola Ajayi’s 60,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Governor Aiyedatiwa has inaugurated the 12 newly appointed commissioners in the state, charging them to be diligent with the various portfolios that would be given to them.

The governor had earlier sent the names of the 12 aides to the state House of Assembly for screening and approval. Their inauguration came after the state Assembly had given its approval to their nominations.

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