• Insists ex-Lagos governor had Hilton following as senator

Emmanuel Addeh

Asked where former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu’s wealth came from, his campaign organization yesterday claimed that he was earning money from importing rice and chemicals into the country.

Tinubu’s campaign organization media and communications director Bayo Onanuga, who appeared on Arise News Night, insisted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate had no not derived its alleged enormous wealth from the government.

He also defended the controversy surrounding the politician’s degrees, pointing out that Tinubu attended Chicago State University, which is separate from the University of Chicago, and graduated with honors.

He insisted that no court had convicted Tinubu of corruption, even after he appeared before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), adding that he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

“There are no conviction records anywhere. In the United States, anyone can get in trouble with the police and the authorities, but you have to go to court before the charge detains you,” he said.

On the politician’s age and the frailty he has shown lately, Onanuga said, “Tinubu is not too old to run,” saying what is important is what a president has ‘upstairs’. “Age doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned. What matters is your mental acuity,” he said.

On how Tinubu will tackle the issue of corruption when he himself has always been followed by sleaze allegations, he insisted that the politician was already rich even before he joined politics.

“As a senator, he had a suite at the Hilton all to himself. So he was not a poor man. I don’t know where people get all these things from.

“He didn’t enter politics as a poor man and he didn’t earn his money from politics. He was a wealthy man before entering politics.

“For those of us who were together in the June 12 struggle, Bola Tinubu put a lot of resources into NADECO.

“He was sponsoring a lot of things that they were doing with his resources. He had investments in America in real estate. He had several gas stations. So he was making money.

“Even in the days of NADECO, he was still involved in some kind of business and he raised a lot of money. He was sending rice to Nigeria, sending chemicals to Nigeria to sell to raise money for a fight. He is therefore not poor.

He argued that even though a bullion van was seen entering the Tinubu compound, as seen in videos during the last general polls, the presidential aspirant as a private citizen has such rights of have personal money. “He worked for the money, it’s his own money,” he insisted.

On the odds of being eliminated due to perceived differences with former APC national president Odigie Oyegun, who heads the committee, he said the two remain friends.

He pointed out that all issues raised in a petition by a certain group against Tinubu were all old issues and should be dismissed.

“They (these issues) have been studied and thrown away. It’s a recurring feature,” he noted, adding that Tinubu’s certificates were lost after his house was razed.