Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:29 pm
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday described a level of mischief in the way issues concerning his certificates are being handled.
Buhari expressed surprise that the Nigerian Army could say it does not have copies his certificates except “records of the certificates.”
Weeks ago, the Nigerian Army had said it has copies of certificates of all its officers and makes them available upon application by the concerned officer.
But on Tuesday, Army Public Relations Officer, Brigadier-General O. Laleye, said the Army does not have original copies of the retired General
“The media hype on retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s credentials as well as the numerous requests made by individuals and corporate bodies to the Nigerian Army on this issue have necessitated that we provide the facts as contained in the retired senior officer’s service record.
“Records available indicate that Major General M Buhari applied to join the military as a Form Six student of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina on 18 October 61.
“His application was duly endorsed by the Principal of the school, who also wrote a report on him and recommended him to be suitable for military commission.
“It is a practice in the NA that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of the Service, the Selection Board verifies the original copies of credentials that are presented,” Laleye said.
While addressing journalists on Wednesday, Buhari said: “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.
He however said he had applied to the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, which is now known as Government College, Katsina, for his certificate.
“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,” he said.