Oladele: Of Buhari’s Refusal To Attach Certificate

MANY concerned Nigerians who are expecting General Buhari to live up to the much touted integrity characterization promoted by his party, are flatly let down by the current “goat ate my homework” explanation being proffered for his inability to do a “show me” on the matter of his personal particulars. It is simply what it looks like, akin to a kid telling his teacher that a goat ate his homework to cover for his inability to do his homework and hence has nothing to submit.

  It is a fact of Nigerian history that many northern kids were encouraged to join the “Boy’s Company” the famous name used for the Nigerian Military School by lowering the academic bar of entry. There is no shame in producing whatever he scored in WASC in 1961, as he claims, to enter the institution. It is also true that the NDA only became a degree awarding institution much later in its history, so the bombast about mocking the army’s credentialing process does not fly, after all we know of people like Odumegwu Ojukwu and many others who joined the army with Oxford degrees, so generalizing the qualifications of the officers of the pre-1964 sets is simply poppycock.

  A weekend newspaper recently regaled Nigerians with another whitewash, a media stunt chronicling how Buhari attended a secondary school and how he was a school prefect cum class monitor; one would have thought that the spring-cleaners who were trying to airbrush his academic destitution, will put the matter to rest by publishing a certificate or a transcript in lieu, but it was another let down. We know many people who attended secondary school, but because they did not have the appropriate finishing documents, they will never join a queue if the requirement for joining that queue is WAEC School certificate. Matter-of-fact, as things now stand, if two queues were formed, one to the right and one to the left, in which those who do not have secondary school certificate are to stand on the right, we expect to see General Buhari in the left queue.

  We have also heard many people saying, he has contested three times, why is it an issue this year? It is an issue quite simply because this year the law is explicit and previously no one cared to check, including INEC whose obligation it is to vet personal particulars. Unlike in previous years, the INEC form CF001 2015 which he filled at section C expressly requires all candidates to attach their academic qualifications. If that is the requirement of the law, why doesn’t he simply abide by it, why all the “dogo turenchi”!

  It is quite amusing and even astonishing to see the All Progressive Congress (APC) spokespersons squirming in obvious discomfort as they give Nigerians the “poker-face”, trying to express incredulity that the academic credentials of a retired General should be questioned. The greater incredulity is on the side of the voting public, who are simply awestruck that the APC and General Buhari find it easier to show the certificate or other evidentiary proof, than to bluster. Even more shocking is the fact that one could not only rise to be a General in the army with such an academic chasm, but will in fact be left with the responsibility of superintending our petroleum industry, Presidency and further return to contest democratic presidency!

  The moment the constitutional lawyer, Tunji Abayomi introduced the circumlocution about a rapist and how to classify school attended according to class performance rather than school leaving examination, the rabbit came out of the hat. Bill Gates is famously projected as the most popular and most successful Harvard dropout, but no one has ever called him a Harvard graduate. If the real explanation is that Buhari entered the army via the “Boys Company” by affirmative exemption, why not just say it, and let it ride. The problem with the APC’s explanation is that this matter of trying to circumvent the law has poured a lot of dirt on their integrity pontifications, and integrity is like a balloon one lying prick and it is gone. The current “goat ate my homework” explanation by Buhari and the APC, or the referral to Baga just doesn’t stick. Or is Buhari’s certificate in Baga? When you lie about small things, then the big things are certainly going to be a problem, because now, we are more likely to believe that the denial about acting as a tribal bigot on that visit to Agodi to confront governor Lam Adesina is another denial; that the denial of Sharia expansionism at that seminar in Kaduna in 2001 is merely a denial of the reality; that that denial of the tracking of the missing 2.8 billion dollars to private accounts in the Midland Bank in the United Kingdom was merely a denial of the fact; that the outstanding denial of that missing 25 billion naira at the PTF is merely a denial of the fact; and that with these serial denials what the APC is actually offering Nigerians is nothing but sheer fantasies and delusions. The APC and Buhari must therefore come clean or go home!

• Oladele wrote from Ibadan, Oyo State.


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