Amid speculations that President-elect Bola Tinubu holds a Guinean passport, Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola says the 1999 Constitution does not prohibit Nigerians with dual citizenship from becoming Nigeria’s president.
Mr. Fashola, the Advocate General of Nigeria, stated this on Sunday Politics, Channels TV programme.
“I know he (Tinubu) carries a Nigerian passport. I don’t know about dual citizenship. I know he was living abroad when he went into exile.
“I don’t know if they gave him American citizenship. What does this have to do with the election results? Last time I checked, I believe the Nigerian constitution allows for dual citizenship. Isn’t it?”
The allegation of dual citizenship is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding Mr. Tinubu. His critics believe that dual citizenship bars him from the presidency based on Article 137 of the constitution.
Article 137 provides that (1) A person will not be able to be elected to the position of President if:
(a) Pursuant to the provisions of Article 28 of this Constitution, has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in cases prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to them. another country.”
Article 28, however, excludes citizens by birth from the scope of Article 137.
It reads as follows: “(1) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person shall forthwith lose his citizenship of Nigeria, if he is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth, 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 a close friend of the former president of Guinea, Alpha Condé.
In 2015, Mr. Tinubu played a leading role in Guinea’s presidential election. Mr. Condé was ousted by a military coup in 2021.
Governance is not holiness
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.
“Government is not holiness. It’s about efficiency, performance and delivery.
“You have to understand that we don’t have to look for saints. All the allegations leveled against him have been unproven or no evidence has been presented to support them, but they have continued for a long time,” he said.
He added, “now I think all these obstacles have been overcome. Maybe there is a divine purpose. Perhaps this is where Nigeria begins to change forever in the most positive ways.’
Mr. Tinubu is expected to be sworn in as president on May 29, but several political parties are contesting his victory at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
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