The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Saturday, dismissed allegations of age falsification levelled against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Born on March 29, 1952, Tinubu is 70 years, based on official records submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission. However, the former Lagos State governor’s age has been intensely scrutinised and debated.
Gbajabiamila defended the APC during a brief address at the joint APC presidential and governorship rally in Lagos.
Speaking on winning over undecided voters, whom he described as a “very small group outside,” he urged APC supporters in attendance to address some popular concerns on Tinubu’s fitness for office.
“They will ask you a lot of questions. I want to tell you what to tell them. There is something called Frequently Asked Questions. When they ask you, who is Tinubu, tell them Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House said Tinubu is the greatest politician in modern-day Nigerian politics,” he said.
“They will ask you, ‘How old is he? What is his age?’ Tell them that Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House said he is the age his mother said he is. And if they doubt his age, they should go and meet his mother to reconfirm.”
Tinubu’s mother, Abibatu Mogaji died on June 15, 2013 at the age of 96.
“They will tell you, ‘But they said he did not go to school.’ Tell them that I, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, said he is more educated than all the contestants put together,” the Speaker said.
On allegations that Tinubu was indicted in the United States, Gbajabiamila asked APC devotees to simply tell sceptics that “the Americans have said repeatedly that they do not know what they are talking about.”
He also countered allegations of corruption against Tinubu with the argument that the APC presidential candidate was never found guilty, while attributing the choice of two Muslims on the party’s presidential ticket to a divine plan.
“They will say, ‘But they say that he is corrupt.’ Tell them he is the most investigated Nigerian presidential candidate in the history of Nigeria, and nothing has been found on him,” the Speaker said.
“When they ask about a Muslim vice president, tell them that God is moving mysteriously in ways that they cannot understand; that he is about to do something in Nigeria.
“Tell them, in Shettima, God is about to live out the scripture of the rejected stone that became the cornerstone. If they ask you, what has he done to develop Nigeria, tell them he has developed men and women who in turn have developed Nigeria.
“Tell them to give you one name of any other candidate that has developed men and women of consequence today in the Nigerian political and socio-economic development.”