What the CIA does not know does not exist.
In Luke 24:5-7, the angel said to the women who went to the tomb in search of Jesus, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?”
For those looking for Bola Tinubu’s certificates, I ask, why do you seek from St. Paul’s School, Aroloya, Lagos, and Government College Ibadan, when you should be seeking them at Iragbiji?
It wasn’t intentional when Bola Tinubu left blank in his INEC forms the names of the primary and secondary schools he attended. No, I mean, it was intentional, but nothing was malicious about it. After all, Bola Tinubu is an honorable man.
Bola Tinubu really tried to find the certificates but could not find them. And when in doubt, the safest thing to do is back off. It is the first law of journalism. It doesn’t matter how many Bode Georges are telling him the schools he attended and the years. Once he would not find the certificates, he must desist from mentioning the schools.
What is the point of writing the names of the primary or secondary schools when you cannot find the certificates to back them up? What is the point unless Bola Tinubu wants inquisitive Nigerians to storm the schools to dig up abandoned toilets, manure pits, and headmaster’s offices in search of the certificates? Or in the case of one particular school destroyed during the Korean War, it could lead to curious Nigerians disturbing the dead by digging up burial grounds that are now on the premises. These nosy Nigerians would like to perform the DNA test of Tinubu’s deceased classmates to see if there will be a match.
Unknown to most Nigerians, Bola Tinubu launched four frantic searches in 2014 for Bola Tinubu’s certificates. The moment Buhari became the nominee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu knew it would be his turn next. And because he knew how Nigerians think, he knew when it became his turn, whether in 2019 or 2023, that Nigerians would expect him to present his certificates. He quickly set up four teams to search for them. That, I must say, is what an honorable man will do.
One team started to visit the tomb of unknown soldiers. He remembered that some unknown soldiers stormed his house when he was in exile in 1994 and ransacked it. Some of the things they took were his certificates. These unknown soldiers knew even then that his turn to be president was coming and they were determined to frustrate his destiny. They were vicious. They did not just take his primary and secondary school certificates; they also took all the exercise books he used in school, including that perfectly ruled composition book; his awards, like his dancing championship award. The one that pained him most was his debating society competition certificate for five consecutive years across several schools in the Western Region. He fondly remembered winning a particular debate for his school when he told a hall full of students and teachers in Ibadan that “a egg is a better asset than a wheelbarrow.” The applause he got was more thunderous than the one he received when he returned from Abuja after winning the APC’s presidential primaries. No be today honor start to follow Bola Tinubu around.
Another team of certificate finders headed by a protégée of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo got the job of searching through all the forms Bola Tinubu ever filled in his service in Lagos State. They started when he ran for the senate in 1992. This team made sure that Tokunbo Afikuyomi was reminded to memorize the story he told in 1999 when this certificate scandal first broke and shocked the new governor of Lagos State. They wanted him to remain consistent with his story no matter the pressure and inducement by enemies of progress. They did not want the man to have a second thought and change his story. If there was a need to make the man comfortable, this team had the mandate to do whatever it took. If there was a need to make his memory disappear, the team was also well equipped. The same team was later deployed when the Alpha Beta scandal opened. They were the most fortified team, with express access to Bourdillon Road’s vaults and the right to invoke force majeure. They did such a great job in both assignments that the team leader was given a juicy position in the current campaign for president as a reward. Even Jeffery Archer agrees that there is honor among thieves.
Another team was sent to America. They had with them an auto delete tool. They were the most methodical of all the teams. From Bola Tinubu’s first international passport to the ticket he used to leave Nigeria in 1969 (or is it 1971?), they went everywhere deleting and destroying what didn’t match what is currently on Wikipedia. Where there is a ‘she,’ they changed it to a ‘he,’ and where there is a height discrepancy, they adjusted it accordingly. They were so sophisticated that they penetrated the American embassy and ensured that the 1969 or 1972 visa application disappeared. From there, they went to Chicago and did a fantastic job at Richard J. Daley College and Chicago State University. Even the FBI, when they looked at Bola Tinubu’s drug-related charges of the 1970s in Chicago and the rest of his FBI file, was very impressed at how this team combed everything. Bola Tinubu’s first driver’s license in America, the forms he filled at the first school he applied for, and the lease he signed at his first apartment were carefully scrutinized and sealed. Those that they could not discard were legally sealed, never to see the light of the day for 100 years after the death of Bola Tinubu. It was so watertight that, even if Bola Tinubu wrote the institutions involved to waive his right to privacy, these forms and copies of documents he submitted would not be public until 100 years after his death.
In all their investigations, there was no sign of his birth certificate or primary and secondary school certificates. Nothing. The researchers who worked on James Bond’s movie, “Tomorrow Never Dies,” consulted this team out of respect for what they delivered for Bola Tinubu. That was when Tinubu’s reputation for honor got enshrined in the constitution of Lagos.
The final team is the one that started work in Iragbiji, Osun State, the place Bola Tinubu was actually born as Yekini Amanda Ogunlere. This team had a very simple mandate. Find all those old enough to remember when the Jagaban was a small boy running around in his underwear, dancing in the rain, and eating ewedu and amala without washing his hands. The instruction to this team was, “When you gather those who knew him, tell them the same thing Will Smith said to people who saw aliens in “Men In Black” before he used the neuralyzer, an electro bio-medical neural transmitting zero synapse repositioner, to wipe the minds of all who saw its flash. The neuralyzer does so by isolating and editing the electronic impulses that control memories. This team deployed it across the old Oyo State and wiped out any memory of Yekini Amanda Ogunlere. They supplied all the victims with a new memory of one Bola Tinubu, born in Lagos State in the house of his alternate mother, Madam Tinubu, in whom he is well pleased.
At this point, there is no way to recover deleted files. There is no way to restore altered DNA. There is only one de-neuralyser that can reverse memories lost – and that is Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He was there in 1999 when the bodies were buried. Unfortunately, there is no hope that a man like Osinbajo, whose convoy as the Vice President is nothing compared to Bola Tinubu’s convoy as a presidential candidate, will try to unmask the man from Iragbiji. As they say, once beaten, twice shy.
The only thing that can stop Bola Tinubu from becoming the next president of Nigeria come 2023 is if Jack Bauer comes out of retirement and is given 24 hours to find any of Bola Tinubu’s certificates – birth or primary or secondary school certificates for there lies his original sin. The other thing that could happen, though most unlikely, is if the God of Oyedepo, Adeboye, and Suleman, hears their prayers, touches Tinubu’s heart, and makes him confess his sins. But that will only happen if Tinubu wants to be free. And so far, it doesn’t look that way. As a man of honor, Bola Tinubu, is taking all his scams to the grave.
Again, what the CIA does not know does not exist.
Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo teaches Post-Colonial African History at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is also the host of Dr. Damages Show. His books include “This American Life Sef”, “Children of a Retired God,” among others.