By Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo SAN
My record at the University of Ibadan has my state of origin as Lagos State whereas I am from Ibadan, Oyo State.
My primary and Secondary school certificates as well as my NYSC records all showed Oyo State as my state of origin.
In my primary school at the Wesley College Practising Primary School, Elekuro, Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria, my date of birth was recorded to be 3rd February, 1968 when my biological father enrolled me in the school in the 1973/1974 academic year.
When I got to primary 6, my full blood Sister, Alhaja Bilikisu Omoriyeba Bolarinwa ( the second born of my parents) who was then a Laboratory Attendant with the Oyo State Hospital Management Board and who was fairly educated by our own family standard said that she discovered our family record book wherein my date of birth was written as 10th April,1969. My Sister on the basis of that discovery therefore approached the School Headmaster, Pa. Odedina who coincidentally was my paternal Uncle to effect the correction in my record and 10th April, 1969 was thus recorded as my new date of birth.
At Urban Day Grammar School, Elekuro, Ibadan, I was using the 10th April, 1969 as my date of birth from my year of admission in 1980 till I passed out in the school in 1985. I was stunned when the school issued me a school leaving certificate testimonial in 1985 and I found out that 10th November,1969 was recorded thereon as my date of birth. All my efforts to getting the school authority to change it proved futile.
When I applied for admission into the Oyo State College of Arts and Science, Ile-Ife (old Oyo State) for my Higher School Certificate(HSC) studies , I filled 10th April, 1969 as my date of birth and I have been consistent in using it till date.
However, I later got to know from my parents and our eldest Sister who is the first born of my parents, Alhaja Hafsat Adebayo that my Dad was indeed right in that my correct date of birth was actually 3rd February, 1968 because I was just 7days older than her second son, Mr. Wasiu Adebayo( my nephew) who was born on the 9th February,1968.
Everybody in the family attested to the fact that Wasiu’s naming ceremony was celebrated the following day after my own naming ceremony. While mine was done on the 10th February, 1968 , that of Wasiu took place on the 11th February,1968 and both were done with great fanfare , pomp and pageantry, more so that I was the very first male child of my both aged parents and also their last born. Also, Wasiu had a birth certificate because his Dad who was from Alasaro compound in Oranyan, Ibadan was a popular Socialite in Ibadan and his wife( my Sister who is Wasiu’s mother) is also educated up to primary school level and was a very successful live goat seller in Oranyan market, Ibadan. My grandma introduced and brought by Mum as well as my Sister into the live goat trading business which has now become our family business, and if not for the privilege of Western Education, I would have probably been a Butcher or Bus Driver which are our prevalent calling in Ibadanland or at best become a Fuji musician.
I must not forget to mention that because of my adoption of the 10th day of April,1969 as my official birthday, some of my aburos and and colleagues who are indeed younger than me in age like Prince Bamidele Abolarin( Super D) , Kazeem Gbadamosi, SAN and Isiaka Abiola Olagunju, SAN in that descending order of their ages used to taunt me that I am their aburo when they truly know so well that I am their acknowledged Egbon and elder brother!!!
What I am trying to say is that if , like the cerebral, well respected and very reverred Mr. J.B. Daudu, SAN said in his Facebook post, I am a professional politician, those several inconsistencies in my academic records with respect to the discrepancies in the 3( three )dates of birth- 3rd February, 1968, 10th April,1969 and 10th November,1969 would have been used against me and labelled or tagged as being fraudulent and or forgery while the existence of Lagos State and Oyo State as my states of origin would have been used to vilify,1 harass, intimidate , haunt and oppress me like the Waziri Adamawa , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is currently doing to his one time bosom friend and “saviour” when he was being unduly oppressed and victimised by the vexatious and autocratic former President Olusegun Obasanjo ahead of the 2007 presidential election.
If my memory still serves me right, I can safely conclude and assert, without being immodest and or missing a beat, that were it not for the then very timely interventions and support of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his allies , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would have been long buried politically and consigned to the dustbin of unsung political history in Nigeria.
Let us even assume but without conceding that all the academic records of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are wholly fake and fraudulent, the pertinent question to ask some gullible Nigerians who are unsuspecting of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s present hidden motive is that- ” Of what utilitarian value will all those fishing expeditions and wild good chase be to either the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and PDP’s election petition appeal now pending at the Supreme court or even that of Mr. Peter Obi and the Labour Party and or even both appeals combined together as the PDPLP/NLC appeals?
One doesn’t need to gaze into any crystal ball to know the obvious answer because , according to Sir Olliver Wendel Holmes , ” the life of law is not logic but that of experience which is rooted in stare decisis or precedents” . The elementary principle of law is also well known pronouncement that , ” Law and morality are not co-terminus’ , otherwise there would have been no Gay and Lesbian Bishops in some Anglican Churches in some developed Western World. By the same token, those who are citing the best global practices of the Western democracies and developed nations of the world also failed , refused, and or neglected to emulate and adopt the legalised human rights practices of those nations with respect to their open and glee practices of homosexuality, gayism and lesbianism.
However, since the appeals of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and that of Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party are sub judice before the apex court of our land , I will therefore restrain myself from making any comment on the propriety of both appeals
Nigerian politicians should be reminded that there was once a prominent politician who lived in Nigeria and who was known and called Alhaji Waziri Ibraheem who was reputed for the slogan of “Politics Without Bitterness “.
I will therefore appeal and enjoin all our politicians to cultivate and emulate Alhaji Waziri Ibraheem’s style of politics and eschew toxic and totalitarian politics of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s ‘ Do or Die Affairs” in the overall interest of our nascent democracy and unity of the country.
Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo SAN is former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo State.
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