I am prepared for dirt in politics – Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has said he is prepared for the dirt associated with politics.

He spoke at Chatham House in London on Monday, where he addressed the controversies surrounding his age, school and time in the private sector.

Responding to questions from the audience, the former Lagos state governor revealed that the efforts of those who questioned his school records ended in disappointment.

He said: “At the time of birth, it was dated March 29, 1952 in the family register. So, I don’t think he would have decided to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, or even that I went into politics.

“I have had very good exposure in life. My record is consistent at the university they questioned. Now they have confessed that they wasted their money and time. The record is there, and the transcript is there showing March 1952.

“I am not claiming another father, I am Tinubu and Tinubu proper. If they want DNA, they might as well request one.

“One of them has been accused of not being a Nigerian citizen, I did not touch that area.

“Even so, it’s still the same. Chicago State University, where I graduated, has attested to this. Now, I can announce that I have received my original replacement degree certificate from them.

“Deloitte trained me as an accountant. Mobile Oil has attested to my excellent track record. I reached the pinnacle of my career in the private sector. Who among them can boast of that?

“Yes, if you want to fight with the pig, you have to live with the dirt. That’s what I’m doing. I got into politics knowing full well that it is murky water. Smog will hit, and you’ll have to live with the dirt and make sure you’re upright to finish the job.”

In his keynote speech, Tinubu expressed his stance against election violence and intimidation while urging others in the presidential race to allow Nigerians to decide the future of the country.

He said: “I am strongly against all forms of electoral violence and intimidation.

“Haven spent most of my career in opposition politics, long fighting electoral malpractice and any attempt to extinguish legitimate voter choice. I’ll keep doing it, I promise.

“I urge all my fellow contestants in this election to do the same. May the sovereign will of the people decide the path of our nation. And may this election be determined by freely choosing voters rather than the overbearing intimidation of a troublesome few.”

In addition, he told the audience: “I am sure that in a few months, the people will go to the polls and give me their mandates.

“I am ready to lead and govern the country. I will return here to interact with you when the elections are over. I will not come with a long list of priorities for the future, but with a collaboration plan in the best interest of the country that I love and to which I dedicate my whole life”.

Asked if his administration will ensure that Nigerians in the diaspora vote in subsequent elections, Tinubu stated that the current voting system has not yet proven reliable enough to adapt to other systems.

He said: “I think it was El-rufai who mentioned last night that Diasporans have the right to vote. If you make contributions to the economy with the remittances you have been making, your right to vote should not be repealed but promoted.

“However, we are still building trust in our voting and democratic system. INEC has yet to assure us during this election that electronic transmission (the technology used for accreditation and total vote counting) is reliable and secure in our democratic process before we introduce the complicated mail-in ballot process and others . .

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