A group, the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRPA) has unveiled why President Joe Biden of the United States of America failed to honour a scheduled meeting with his Nigerian counterpart, President Bola Tinubu at the end of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York last week.
A statement released by the Centre yesterday in Abuja, signed by its coordinator, Ifeayi Okechukwu, said it reliably gathered that the State Department told the US President that the case against the authenticity of Tinubu’s university degree from the Chicago State University was still ongoing in the US court in Chicago and “it is highly likely that the litigation may run against the president’s interest,” the State Department reportedly told Biden according to the information available to us.
Okechukwu said: “Information available to us indicates that the failure of Biden to meet with Tinubu was consequent upon the State Department advisory warning the US President to avoid Tinubu like a plague until the litigation on his election is concluded by the judiciary in Nigeria.
“We were also availed of the information that there are inconsistencies between the records of Bola Tinubu with the university and the record that the Nigerian president submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to information at our disposal, which was obtained late on Saturday night, ‘Tinubu’s records at the Chicago State University are inconsistent with what he submitted to INEC in Nigeria.’
President Tinubu’s main rival in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar is challenging the decision of INEC in declaring Tinubu winner of the election and has cited non-qualification of Tinubu based on forgery of documents as one of the grounds for his appeal.
According to the information, “as a result of the inconsistent records in his (Tinubu’s) Chicago State University file, President Biden was advised to cancel his sideline meeting with Tinubu.
“Similarly, a phone call that was arranged for Tinubu to speak with Biden was also cancelled. So, States Department advice is to avoid Tinubu until his legal matters are resolved in Nigeria.”
The Centre further claimed that “the Nigerian president promptly flew to France from New York in order to seek the intervention of the French President Emmanuel Macron to help secure support of the West in the emerging legitimacy crisis rocking his administration.
“So, both the meeting of Tinubu and the phone call with Biden were cancelledled at the last minute.
“It is certain that President Tinubu has serious legitimacy problems.
“Indeed, if he were not a President with diplomatic immunity, parading any fake or unapproved university document is against the law in the United States.
“Under American laws, he would be denied entry or deported. Obviously, the States Department didn’t want any controversy to emerge during the General Assembly and that is why they tactically opposed to Biden meeting with Tinubu as that could be interpreted as President Biden aiding Tinubu in seeking protection from the law.”