Tony Osauzo, Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin and Gabriel Dike
The controversy over Governor Godwin Obaseki’s academic qualification has been laid to rest as the authorities of the University of Ibadan (UI), yesterday, confirmed that he graduated from the institution.
A statement by the Registrar of UI, Mrs Olubunmi O Faluyi, said Obaseki gained admission to the university in 1976 and graduated in 1979 with a Second Class Honours, Lower Division in Classics and records of his admission and graduation intact in the archives of the university.
On Tuesday, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), asked the party’s screening committee to investigate the allegation.
“Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days? I’m aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass the screening,” he said.
“It is done every third term at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), then we ran terminal not semester programme. The final screening was in the third year, before you go in for your final year.
“How comes the UI allowed him then. Did he do a remedial? which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in especially in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after.’’
The clarification has put pay to insinuations by Obaseki political opponent that he never attended the university.
Also, the clearance of his university degree may have made nonsense of his opponent claim of not having five credits in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
However, the Screening Committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) to screen candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, yesterday, grilled Governor Obaseki and four other aspirants for the June 22 primary.
Others screened included former deputy governor, Pius Odubu, former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Osaro Obazee and Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
Tension had built in the early hours of the morning around the secretariat as supporters of the frontline aspirants geared for an imminent supremacy clash.
As at midday, when Governor Obaseki breezed into the secretariat, several of his supporters and those of other aspirants had already gathered, drumming support for their own. Although the supporters of other aspirants did not brand themselves, the supporters of the incumbent dressed in branded white vests had occupied one side of the road outside the secretariat singing and chanting intermittently.
Chairman of the Screening committee, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, has assured Nigerians that they would not do anything to compromise their integrity, just as he reminded the party that theirs is not judicial panel.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Ovia North East Local Government Council of Edo State, Mrs Maureen Ekharagbon, has resigned from office.
In her resignation letter dated June 10, Ekharagbon, said her resignation was on the ground of administrative, governance and political.
In the letter which was copied to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Local Government Service Commission and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Vice Chairman said, “I tender my resignation based on administrative, political and governance grounds as politics and governance are inextricably connected. I want to use this opportunity to thank Governor Godwin Obaseki for the opportunity to serve and also the Chairman of the Council, Mr Scott Ogbemudia.
Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele and Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, had similarly resigned their appointment.