The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, has addressed the certificate scandal hanging over his campaign.
He insisted that the whole matter is down to mudslinging.
Speaking yesterday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Abiodun said he was not worried about the scandal.
“There are no issues about my certificate. I never claimed to have finished from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University),” he said.
The APC candidate has faced allegations that he submitted conflicting educational qualifications to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015 when he ran for Senate and this year in his quest to become governor of his state.
Of contention is the allegation that he claimed to have obtained a degree from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, an allegation he denies.
“I never claimed to have gotten a degree from the University of Ife,” he insisted when asked about the matter.
He, however, said he studied at the university, but he didn’t graduate from there.
When asked about some profiles of him that indicate he had a B.A in Accounting, the candidate replied, “But that is not from Ife”.
When his attention was subsequently drawn to the argument of those who faulted claims that he bagged B.A in accounting on the grounds that the institution did not issue B.A. certificates in accounting, he blamed the controversy on political attacks.
“This has all been an attempt at mudslinging and to confuse the electorate and it is bundled with a lot of half-truths,” he said.
“I never claimed to have studied accounting at the University of Ife. I never claimed to get it (the degree) from the University of Ife. So, this issue has been presented as the presenter wanted it presented.”
Asked to clarify what degrees he had, Abiodon said, “I do have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and I will like to stop at that because this matter will be sub judice if I go any further.”
Stressing that the matter was in court, he declined to comment further on it when questioned about where he got his degree and the veracity of the certificate he indicated he had in his form for senatorial election in 2015.
Abiodun’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun had created a rift in the party in the state with Governor Ibikunle Amosun refusing to back him, and preferring to support Adekunle Akinlade who has dumped the APC after it backed Abiodun to fly its flag in the race.
The rift also pitted Governor Amosun against the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole with both men trading accusations.
Concerning the crisis in the state chapter of the party, Abiodun said, “Governor Amosun is my governor. I am positively disposed to reconciling with everyone and anyone, particularly my governor; he is a governor in my party.
“I believe these issues are issues that are internal to our party. It is unfortunate that it has come to the public fore. But I am sure that at the right time, these issues will be reconciled.”
Oshiomhole has been accused of working for Abiodun’s emergence as the party’s candidate against the wishes of the major stakeholders of the party in the state.
But Abiodun insists he won the primary election fairly.
He said, “I don’t know about favoured candidates. I don’t think that primary elections are won by favoured candidates. Adams Oshiomhole did not come to conduct my elections in Ogun. I don’t see how anyone will begin to accuse Adams Oshiomhole as favouring me in place of some other persons.
“It is not unusual that we have these kinds of issues arise when we have primary elections within a party. It is not unusual and it is not the first time. It is just that this has been a bit more contentious than ordinarily, we have seen in the past.
“A body was set up to conduct my elections, that body conducted the elections, I emerged from that process and I have been declared the winner of that election and I remain the validly elected winner of that election.”