Durojaiye Ogunsanya, a public affairs analyst, identified President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a classmate at Chicago State University (CSU).
Ogunsanya spoke on a TVC programme that he and Nigeria’s president both graduated from the Department of Accounting and Business Administration in 1979.
President Tinubu’s academic background has been a source of contention, with some of his political opponents claiming that the Tinubu who attended CSU was a woman.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, one of Tinubu’s top rivals in the 2023 Presidential election, has filed a lawsuit in an American court demanding that CSU provide Tinubu’s academic record.
But speaking on the programme, Ogunsanya said he knew the president back in school.
“We met in a school in Chicago State; we were in the said department, College of Accounting, Business and Administration, with major in accounting, and we were in the same class together and graduated. He did attend the university and graduated in 1979 as I did. So I’m here to testify that he did attend the University, and he was a good student.”
Asked what he thought when people said Tinubu did not graduate from the school, Ogunsanya said, “People were being mischievous in the first place. Because he was a governor for 8 years, somebody who worked for Mobil several years and you contesting that he didn’t go to university. Is that possible? I cannot imagine how that is possible. Sometimes the President might be embellishing, but that does not mean that he didn’t attend the university. He has the record there for people to go and check to confirm all these things that he did.
“I was a bonafide student. I first went to engineering school and nautical engineering. Okay. Then I decided no, it’s not for me. I changed college. That’s when I transfer. The beauty of it all in America is they make it easy for everybody. There is an opportunity for anybody. You can start from scratch and build yourself up. And you do it even with high school GED, they call it you take the exam. Once you pass it. You can apply to any college that go to junior college, which is for two years there you can transfer your your credit to a four year college.
“I think that’s what the President did. He first went to Richard J college and then transfer the credit to a four year college, university. I didn’t go to college. I went to another Junior College. Then I transferred to go State University. And I met him there. When I met him there. One of the professor told me ‘Are you from Nigeria’, I said ‘yes’. ‘Do you know Bola?’ I said ‘no, I don’t know him’. He said ‘oh, you need to know Bola’.
“Eventually we met and then I found out that he is from Nigeria and we clicked from there. And one other thing is that we want a member of the Accounting Society. When the time for electron came, the president surprised me that was the time he became the president of the club. People were even laughing at him with his accent, because he had Nigerian accent, but with this, he won as president of the club in 1978/79. Those are facts. Go and check it out. He was very social and ambitious even then. So I am not surprised that he has carved a niche for himself to become the president.”