President Muhammadu Buhari
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to show proof of his vaunted integrity by presenting his academic documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and put to an end his certificate saga.
A report by Nigerian Tribune revealed that the main opposition party also urged President Buhari to fulfill his obligation like other presidential candidates, by presenting his certificate, if he has any, instead of bugging the commission with affidavits.
A statement Friday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the President of seeking ways to short-circuit the system, instead of complying with set rules.
The party said while its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has submitted his educational and other relevant documents to INEC, President Buhari has continued to insist that his secondary school certificate was with the military authorities.
The statement said, “Indeed, a situation where President Buhari has been dodging the certificate issue raises huge questions of integrity, which demands that he makes available his credentials, or apologise to Nigerians, if he has none, so that the nation can move ahead.
“President Buhari knows by now that Nigerians are no longer interested in his claims in an affidavit wherein he stated; “I am the above-named person and the deponent of this affidavit herein. All my academic qualification documents as filled in my Presidential form, APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary of the Military Board as of the time of this affidavit”.
The PDP maintained that integrity strictly demands that President Buhari, particularly as the Commander-In-Chief write to the military authorities directing them to forward his claimed credentials to INEC, as requisite evidence of compliance with a key requirement for election into the Office of the President, under Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“That President Buhari and the previous INEC succeeded in circumventing the law in 2015 does not make such acceptable in our current electoral process.
“Moreover, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) must realise that even their followers that were beguiled in 2015, are currently not prepared to accept ‘NEPA bill’ as WAEC certificate in the 2019 elections.
“This is particularly as the certificate scandal contributes to the erosion of Mr. President’s rectitude to check the humongous corruption, ineptitude and recklessness among his officials which has brought the nation to its knees under his administration.
“Furthermore, President Buhari’s failure to tidy up such grey areas also contributes to his inability to cultivate and earn the productive followership of the youth and the respect of the international community, resulting in retardation in national productivity and dearth of international development partnership in the last three and half years.
“This situation has even been worsened by the revelations that President Buhari’s ministers and aides parade forged certificates.
No country makes meaningful progress with persons with these educational pedigrees in its leadership.
“The PDP, therefore, urges President Buhari to do the needful so as not to cause any frictions that will put INEC under further pressure ahead of the 2019 general elections”.