“This is a God-sent, with WAEC being a non-political entity. This should put to rest the absurd allegations by the PDP brought up again and again…”
Juliana Taiwo-Obalanye, Abuja
Amid the controversy trailing his non-submission of school certificate to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), ahead of the 2019 elections, the West African Examination Council (WAEC), has presented attestation certificate and confirmation of school certificate result to President Muhammadu Buhari.
READ ALSO: Buhari: Much ado about certificate
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the disclosure on his Twitter handle, @FemAdesina, on yesterday.
Adesina wrote: “WAEC presents attestation certificate and confirmation of school cert result to President Buhari. What will the naysayers say next?”
In a statement later released to the media, Adesina said, Buhari received the attestation and confirmation of his 1961 West African School Certificate (WASC) Examination result from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
He said the documents were presented to the President at State House during a courtesy visit by a delegation of WAEC led by its Registrar, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, accompanied by Olutise Adenipekun, Head, National Office, WAEC, Abiodun Aduloju, Head Public Affairs, WAEC and Olufemi Oke, Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Abuja.
“The President thanked the examination board, established in 1952, and which conducts the WASC examination for University and JAMB entry examination in West African countries, for upholding its integrity over the years, adding that he did not expect anything less from the institution.
“The President said it would have been impossible for him to have attended the Defence Services Staff College, India (1973) and thereafter, United States Army War College, as a Nigerian military officer, if he didn’t sit for the WASC examinations in 1961.
“The President recounted that during his secondary school days, it was very difficult to commit examination fraud, even though it was not impossible,” the statement read.
Adesina quoted Buhari as saying, “my colleagues and I who spent close to nine years in boarding school both in primary and secondary, including Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, when we intended to join the military we had to take a military examination.
“We were examined in three subjects, English, Mathematics and General Knowledge because English is the language for general instruction throughout the country because of our colonial heritage.
“Mathematics in the military was necessary, coupled with Geography. We were trained how to be dropped off in the bush, given only a pair of compass and since we were not astronomers, you have to learn to find your way, calculate, using the Pythagoras Theorem and others to work out your position,” he said.
In his remarks, the Registrar said it was possible for candidates to lose their examination certificates through fire and any other unfortunate incident.
“We don’t issue certificates twice but we can issue attestations or duplicate copy of the certificate.
“We also have what we refer to as confirmation; usually, universities were using this in those days when Information Technology was not in vogue.
“Whoever sat for WASC exams in whatever year, we have the records in our database, and Mr. President, we have the records of the examinations you sat in 1961.
“We have the attestation of results, which we issue to candidates who lost their certificates and confirmation of results,” Uwadiae said.
In an article entitled, ‘President Buhari, WAEC and PDP’s toxic air’ later released by the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, it quoted the exam body, as saying that it felt a sense of duty to produce and deliver to him a confirmation and attestation of his results, in form of a duplicate certificate because the controversy concerning Buhari’s school certificate is embarrassing.
Shehu said, “this is a God-sent, with WAEC being a non-political entity. This should put to rest the absurd allegations by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) brought up again and again, that he did not attend a secondary school.
“The unreasonable position of the PDP had been sustained all along in spite of testimony by classmates, who read with him in school and graduated together, and that fact that a court of law had given a ruling on the matter.
“In 2014-2015, when they raked up the issue, I remember that it took the courage of the then college principal to issue a statement of results from available records. In doing so, he defied the ruling PDP government in the state which asked him not to.
“At the time we got the results sheet, reports said that the government had determined to send arsonists to burn the school to ashes so that the existing records will be obliterated.
“This was against the backdrop of the shocking claim by the Army Records office in Lokoja, that they didn’t keep any records of General Buhari as a military officer.
“Curiously, the Army Records office had once come under Muhammadu Buhari, as Military Secretary who, during his tenure streamlined the records of the entire officer corps, and could not, by any stretch of imagination, have left his own records in a mess. General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd) reportedly dismissed this mischief as an insult to the military.
“After doing his conscience duty by daringly releasing those results, the then government of Katsina State punished the principal by stripping him of his seniority and posting.
“As we said in a number of past statements, the matter of the president’s qualification to run for office is a non-issue, nonetheless feasted upon by the PDP, which has stopped thinking and have nothing to offer to Nigerians.
“Based on arguments that “education gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong,” the 1999 Constitution stipulates a minimum educational qualification for citizens who intend to contest for elections at all levels, which requires that they must possess a secondary school education or its equivalent.
“As far as his educational career is concerned, President Buhari attended the Katsina Provincial Secondary School, before enrolling in the Nigerian Military Training College, NMTC Kaduna (1962), renamed Nigerian Defence Academy, in 1964.
“As narrated by Major-General Sani Saleh (Rtd), “I worked at the Nigerian Defence Academy so I know the processes. You cannot get in with a forged certificate; it is impossible. “At the time (Muhammadu Buhari enrolled), the army was still controlled by the British…Nigerian Army was a select and (an) elite organization, we had very few Army Officers at that time. I don’t think the whole Nigerian Army Officers were up to 50. You can imagine what it takes for you as a Nigerian to be one of those…and today, somebody will be accusing you that you don’t have a certificate.”