NYSC: Youths Group Asks INEC to Disqualify Kwara PDP’s Gov Candidate for Alleged Forgery
***Laughable Allegation to Cover-Up APC Candidate’s Suspicious Qualification –PDP
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
A socio-political group, Youths Alliance for Credible Leadership (YACL), has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately disqualify Kwara State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rasaq Atunwa for alleged forgery of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.
The group’s Director, Babamale Nurudeen, in a statement in Ilorin, Kwara State capital said, “We have waited for INEC to do the needful but it does appear the body isn’t willing to do the right thing despite evidence suggesting foul play on the part of Atunwa.”
But in a swift reaction, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Tunde Ashaolu dismissed the allegation with the wave of the hand describing it as, “laughable attempt by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) camp to cover up its governorship candidate’s suspicious educational qualification.”
According to him, the issues of election and the contestants have gone beyond searching for fault now reminding that the electoral umpire, INEC has its criteria for clearing contestants for election of which nobody has authority to usurp that power.
However, the group stated in its statement that, its action “comes almost two months after Premium Times, a foremost investigative news platform, published a well-researched article alleging that the PDP governorship candidate had consistently submitted forged NYSC discharge certificate to the INEC to contest for elections. The paper also alleged plots by Atunwa and his godfather Bukola Saraki to swap his credentials at the INEC to save the ticket.”
The statement reads further thus: “Atunwa had insisted at the time that the news medium was wrong, claiming he had always submitted school leaving certificate as his qualifications.
“This claim has now fallen like a pack of cards with the recent release of candidates’ list by INEC which showed that Atunwa submitted a certificate for law degree contrary to his claims.”
Nurudeen said, “the PDP candidate’s claim that he submitted school leaving certificate has turned out to be false and qualifies as perjury.
“We believe the right thing to do now is for the INEC to immediately disqualify Atunwa while security agencies commence his prosecution for forgery and perjury,” he added.
He said Atunwa’s contradictory claims regarding his qualifications “raise serious doubts about his credibility and suitability to govern any state. It raises the question of integrity. One problem Nigeria has faced is the issue of lack of character and integrity by leaders. We call on police to get to the roots of this scandal. Silence is not golden.”
While still viewing the group’s allegation as puerile, childish from ignorant people, Ashaolu, the state Spokesman of the PDP who asserted that, Razak Atunwa is not a green horn in politics reminded the group and the public that, “he has been contesting and winning elections in the state.”
According to him, Atunwa has been Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, he has also been in the National assembly, expressing the confidence that, “with his experience, the state will be in good and safe hand with him as next governor.”
He now wondered why a party, which candidate has no other manifesto for the state asides from ‘O To Ge’ are comparing themselves with a tested and trusted hand like Atunwa.
Ashaolu concluded by saying that the people of Kwara State would vote for Atunwa and PDP to enjoy continuity of the good work the PDP administration has started over the years.
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