I obtained Cambridge WASC, says Buhari
• Alma Mater releases his Statement of Result
• PDP accuses him, APC of breaching peace accord
• Opposition party decries attack on President’s convoy
• Mammoth crowd at Jonathan’s campaign in Kano
BARELY 24 hours after the Nigerian Army said that the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) retired Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate was not with it, the former military leader insisted that he completed his secondary education and obtained the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961.
In the same vein, Buhari’s Alma Mater, Government College, formerly Provincial School, Katsina, Wednesday released a statement of his secondary school examinations results.
Also, Head of the APC Presidential Screening Committee, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday offered an insight into why Buhari was cleared to contest for the polls.
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the APC and Buhari of breaching the Abuja peace accord by allegedly sponsoring their supporters to attack President Jonathan’s convoy in Katsina last Tuesday.
It also asked Buhari to immediately report himself to the police for interrogation and trial over alleged perjury and certificate forgery.
But the APC yesterday condemned the reported stoning of the campaign convoy of President Jonathan in Katsina State, saying violence of any kind was totally unacceptable to the party.
Meanwhile, speaking to a mammoth crowd, Jonathan yesterday in Kano promised to create more jobs and business opportunities in the country as a way of curbing youth restiveness and poverty.
Buhari who spoke at a news conference in Kano said: “I attended Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, and I graduated in 1961 with many prominent Nigerians, including the former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and the ex-President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umar Abdullahi. My examination number is 820002, and I passed the examination in the second sitting.”
The army had claimed that it was not in possession of copies of Buhari’s certificate except for the record.
But the former Head of State explained that he had requested for the original copies of his certificate to be forwarded.
He spoke further: “I assumed all along that my academic qualifications are in the custody of the army secretary but to my surprise I was now told that although the record of the result is available but copy of the certificate was not in my personal file.
“This is why I have formally requested my old school, the Provisional Secondary School, Katsina, now Government College, Katsina to make available the school copies with that of Cambridge West African School Certificate and this will be made available to the press.”
The former military leader who considered the controversial certificate saga as diversionary, challenged the PDP to focus its campaign on insecurity, level of unemployment and endemic corruption in the country.
The results, obtained by an online medium, showed that Buhari undertook the University of Cambridge West African School Certificate Examinations and got five credits in English Language, Geography, Hausa Language, History and Health Science.
The statement of result signed by the current principal of Katsina College, dated January 21, 2015.
The results show that Buhari failed in Mathematics and Woodwork, and had a pass in Literature in English.
The examination centre number was 8280, while Buhari’s candidate number was 002.
The statement of results is printed on the letter head paper of the Katsina State Ministry of Education, and it shows that the examination took place in 1961.
The Cambridge printout also shows the result of 17 other candidates at the centre, including Shehu Yar’Adua, a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters.
Onu, who spoke to reporters on the certificate saga in Abuja, maintained that members of his panel adhered strictly to the provision of the constitution to clear Buhari.
According to him: “Really that issue shouldn’t create the kind of problem that we are seeing today in the polity.
“When this matter came before us in the presidential screening committee, we had to rely on the constitution of our great country to qualify to be president of Nigeria, you have to be a Nigerian by birth, he has to be 40 years of age, he has to be a member of a political party and that political party must sponsor you and finally should obtain education at least up to secondary school level or equivalent and our presidential candidate has attended military schools, in Nigeria, in India, in the United Kingdom (UK) and in the United States of America (USA). He attended the U.S. army War College. So, there isn’t any reason whatsoever to create this type of problem that we now have in the polity.”
Asked if the committee actually demanded to see a copy of Buhari’s School Certificate during the screening, he said: “No, we demanded for that but there was an affidavit and you know once you swear to an affidavit, that definitely gives you whatever protection in any matter not just in this case.”
The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, at a news conference addressed yesterday by its Director of Media Affairs, Femi Fani- Kayode, in Abuja, warned that should anything happen to President Jonathan, the consequences would be grave and that Buhari and his party would be held responsible.
Fani-Kayode stated: “Why couldn’t Buhari prove his commitment to the Abuja Accord by ensuring that his supporters did the same thing and did not indulge in vandalism, threats and violence? We wish to state clearly and categorically that the behaviour of Buhari and his supporters is unacceptable and that it must cease forthwith.
“Let us take this opportunity to also serve them notice that if anything untoward happens to our candidate or his supporters during the course of this campaign, we shall hold Buhari and his party responsible and the consequences would be grave, unimaginable and far-reaching.
“Meanwhile we call on our millions of supporters all over the country to remain calm and not to indulge in any form of violence or revenge attacks despite this massive and unwarranted provocation.”
Explaining the genesis of the attack on the President, Fani-Kayode said: “Yesterday (Tuesday), while going to Katsina for his scheduled rally, a group of broom-wielding vandals, chanting “sai Buhari”, hurled stones at the convoy of President Jonathan, who, as you all know, is our presidential candidate in the February 14 election.
“We consider that action despicable, barbaric, shameful and highly reprehensible. It shows very clearly the violent nature, disposition and character of those individuals that were involved and the presidential candidate that they support.
“The Katsina show of shame was the first case of violence unleashed on our candidate by Buhari’s supporters, after the signing of the historic Abuja Accord by the presidential candidates of all the parties participating in the election. The purpose of that Accord was to discourage violence before, during and after the election.
“The laudable intention of the Accord has now been irresponsibly violated by a group of miscreants and vandals whose leader has proved to be wholly incapable of keeping them in check and restraining them from indulging in violence. It is worrisome that this kind of violent reaction would manifest when the election has not held and their candidate has not yet lost.”
He further regretted that it was sad that the violence that greeted the 2011 presidential election was gradually being repeated.
He went on: “When we remember the post-election violence of 2011 after this same candidate lost, you must appreciate the reason why we are raising these concerns.
“We are indeed appalled that the APC and its presidential candidate would allow their supporters, in his (Buhari’s) home state, to go berserk with the clear intention to harm the President and those who travelled with him. Were it not for the gallant efforts of the security personnel, this small group of violent vandals would have harmed the president and caused damage to the vehicles in his convoy.
“It is pertinent for us to point out the fact that our candidate, our party and our numerous supporters have so far behaved reasonably and responsibly during the course of this campaign and the world can attest to this with the peaceful rally that General Buhari had in Bayelsa State, the home state of our candidate.”
On the controversy surrounding Buhari’s academic qualification, Fani-Kayode said that by asking the principal of his former school to fetch his school certificate, the former had admitted that he never submitted any one to the Army despite having sworn to an affidavit to that effect.
He added: “The implication of this action is that this 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 giving 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 qualifications which was a School Certificate. Given this, at best Buhari should never have been anything more than a non-commissioned officer.”
The APC restated its commitment to a continuous enlightenment of its members and supporters to eschew violence before, during and after next month’s general elections, and urged other parties to follow suit.
‘’We consider election as a celebration of democracy, not a do-or-die affair. Whether or not one agrees with the campaign message of any party, engaging in violence negates the very essence of democracy and should be condemned by all,’’ the party said.
On his part, Jonathan during his campaign held at Polo Ground, Bompai, Kano, noted that the Federal Government had intervened in so many areas that could help in developing Kano State.
While commending the people of the state for fighting the polio scourge, the President said: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) would declare Nigeria polio-free this year. What delayed such declaration last year was as a result of some challenges that we faced at the time.
“We will make sure that rice is produced, processed and exported from Kano. Kano is known for business, trade and industry. We will make sure that we work hand in hand with the incoming PDP government in Kano to create more opportunities.”
In his remarks, Vice President Namadi Sambo disclosed that the Federal Government would spend N250 billion to improve irrigation farming in the state.
He also accused politicians from the opposition party of mixing politics with religion in their campaigns.
After disclosing some of the achievements of the Federal Government in the state, Sambo disclosed that it was preparing to link Kano-Katsina-Kaura Namoda-Sokoto-Birnin Kebbi rail lines up to Niger Republic.
Earlier, the presidential campaign team visited Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, at his palace. Jonathan told the monarch that his government was able to tame polio spread in the country.
Sanusi reminded politicians that democracy was all about choice, stressing that nobody should be allowed to be harmed because of his political choice.
He also urged public office seekers to always warn their supporters against crisis, stressing: “I would also want to urge politicians to please develop the habit of accepting election verdict after polls. We are calling on the Federal Government to continue to tighten the belt in the protection of lives and property.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said that Jonathan should be free to campaign anywhere in the country without hindrance.
It added that even though the attack on Jonathan’s convoy took place a day after the provocative death-wish-for-Buhari in a newspaper advertorial that was put out in the name of the president, nothing justified the stoning.