WADOO!!NEWS: Certificate saga: Buhari defends self
THE All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, defended himself over his school certificate saga. This came as his secondary school certificate result emerged, yesterday, when the Katsina State Ministry of Education released a certified statement of result of the presidential candidate’s 1961 school certificate examination.
Before the result was released, Gen. Buhari took a pause from his campaign schedule to address a press conference on the matter. Buhari described as a mischief orchestrated by the Jonathan administration to distract him from the issues of corruption, insecurity and unemployment which he said were at the heart of the campaign.
The production of the school certificate result nonetheless, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization was, unrelenting as it yesterday called on Buhari to withdraw from the presidential contest on the basis of alleged perjury. The body said Buhari’s earlier claim on oath that his credentials were with the army board had been contradicted by available evidence.
Speaking at a press conference in the Kano State Government House, yesterday, Buhari expressed surprise that the Army board claimed not to be in possession of his certificate. He said he had as such requested his secondary school, the then Provincial Secondary School, Katsina now Government Secondary School, Katsina to provide the result.
The statement of result as authenticated by the present principal and examination officer of the school showed that Buhari who entered for eight subjects obtained five credits and one pass while he failed in two subjects. The failed subjects were Woodwork and Mathematics. He obtained credits in English, Hausa, Economics, Geography, History and Health Science and obtained a pass in English Literature.
Buhari defends self
Earlier at a press conference in Kano, Buhari flanked by his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and party chieftains had read out a press statement.
He said: “I only consented to address you this morning because of the genuine concern expressed by many supporters and other well-meaning Nigerians that the issue be addressed. Otherwise, I would have dismissed it for what it is—sheer mischief— and would not have considered it an issue worth the nation’s while.
“I had assumed all along that all my records were in the custody of the Military Secretary of the Nigerian Army. Much to my surprise, we are now told that although a record of the result is available, there are no copies of the certificates in my personal file. This is why I formally requested my old school, the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina (which is now known as Government College, Katsina) to make available the school’s copy of the result of the Cambridge/West African School Certificate. This will be made available to the press the moment this is available.
“However, before we obtain that, let me say for the record that I attended Provincial Secondary School, Katsina. I graduated in 1961 with many prominent Nigerians, including General Shehu Yar’Adua, former Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters, and Justice Umaru Abdullahi, a former President of the Court of Appeal. We sat for the University of Cambridge/WASC Examination together in 1961, the year we graduated. My examination number was 8280002, and I passed the examination in the Second Division.
“And although the ruling party may want to wish this away, the issue in this campaign cannot be my certificate which I obtained 53 years ago. The issues are the scandalous level of unemployment of millions of our young people, the state of insecurity, the pervasive official corruption which has impoverished our people and the lack of concern of the government for anything other than the retention of power at all costs.”
Not long after Buhari’s address, yesterday, copies of his WASC result were released, copies of which were sent to Vanguard by the APC.
Buhari should withdraw — PDP Campaign
Calling on Buhari to withdraw from the presidential contest on the allegation that he committed perjury on the basis of his earlier claim on oath that the certificate was with the Army board, spokesman of the President Jonathan campaign organization, Femi Fani-Kayode said: “Information reaching us now has shown that the Presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed today (yesterday) in Kano at a press conference that the affidavit he swore to in which he claimed that his credentials were in the custody of the military was not true after all.
“The implication of the action of this so-called “Mr Clean” is nothing but perjury and we all know that this is a grave criminal offence under our laws and constitution.
“We urge Buhari and his party to do the right thing and tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian people, throw in the towel and report to the nearest police station for interrogation and prosecution. Anything less than that would be an insult to the collective intelligence and integrity of the Nigerian people.
“We also urge the Nigerian Armed Forces to consider the possibility of stripping him of his rank and privileges given the fact that he was never qualified to join the Nigerian Army as a commissioned officer in the first place because he never had the prerequisite qualification which was a school certificate. Given this, at best Buhari should never have been anything more than a non-commissioned officer.”