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Fashola Speaks On Tinubu’s Alleged Dual Citizenship

Amid speculations that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has a Guinean passport, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the 1999 Constitution does not bar Nigerians with dual citizenship from becoming president of Nigeria.

Mr Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, stated this on Sunday Politics, a programme Channels TV.

“I know he (Tinubu) carries a Nigerian passport. I don’t know about dual citizenship. I know he resided abroad when he went into exile.

“I don’t know if they gave him American citizenship. What does that have to do with the results of the election? The last time I checked, I think the Nigerian constitution allows you to have dual citizenship. Doesn’t it?”

The dual citizenship allegation is the latest in the controversies surrounding Mr Tinubu. His critics believe dual citizenship bars him from the presidency based on section 137 of the constitution.

Section 137 provides that (1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if –

(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquirede the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country.”

Section 28, however, excludes citizens by birth from restriction by section 137.

It states that “(1) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person shall forfeit forthwith his Nigerian citizenship if, not being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, he acquires or retains the citizenship or nationality of a country, other than Nigeria, of which he is not a citizen by birth.”

Mr Tinubu is yet to speak on the controversy. The president-elect is reportedly a close friend of the former President of Guinea, Alpha Condé.

In 2015, Mr Tinubu reportedly played a leading role in the presidential election in Guinea. Mr Condé was removed from office by a military coup in 2021.

Governance is not by sainthood
Mr Fashola, while reacting to the controversies surrounding the president-elect, said the country does not need a saint, but someone to deliver good governance.

“Governance is not about sainthood. It is about efficiency, performance, and delivery.

“You must understand that we should not be looking for saints. All of the allegations that were levelled against him have been either unproven or no evidence offered in support of them but they have run along for a while,” he said.

He added that “I think now that all of these hurdles have been surmounted. Maybe there is a divine purpose. Maybe perhaps, this is where Nigeria begins to turn in the most positive ways forever.”

Mr Tinubu is expected to be sworn in as president on 29 May, although, several political parties are challenging his victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

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