The All Progressives Congress, APC, has supported its claim over Muhammadu Buhari’s eligibility to contest next month’s presidential election by citing relevant sections of the constitution clarifying requisite minimum academic qualification for the office.
Lai Mohammed, APC National Publicity Secretary, in a statement quoted part IV, Section 318 of the Constitution to back their claim. The Constitution, Mohammed said, interprets “School Certificate level or its equivalent” as follows:
(a) A Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or
(b) Education up to Secondary School Certificate Level; or
(c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and –
(i) service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for a minimum of ten years, and
(ii) attendance at courses and training in such institutions as may be acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for periods totalling up to a minimum of one year, and
(iii) The ability to read, write, understand and communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and
(d) Any other qualification acceptable by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Mohammed also accused President Goodluck Jonathan, and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of trying to compromise the army, hence repudiating its earlier statement that it has copies of Buhari’s certificate.
Mohammed stated that “In an interview with the Punch on Jan. 4th 2015, Brig.-Gen. Olaleye said: ‘Every serving and retired Army officer has at least a copy of his certificates and credentials kept in the Nigerian Army while that same serving and retired officer has copies of those same certificates and credentials’.
”Is Brig.-Gen. Olaleye now saying that he did not make that statement? If he did, what has happened between then and now to make him to recant? It will be interesting to know what has transpired between then and now,” APC said.
But more worrisome, the party said, is the statement credited to Mr. Laleye that there was no evidence that the certificates of all those who joined the army in the early 1960s were verified by the selection board.
”Is he now saying that all those who were commissioned into the officer cadres in the 1960s did not have their certificates verified? Does this not confirm what we said that in trying to destroy Gen. Buhari, the PDP and the Jonathan Administration will end up destroying the army as an institution? Or is it only Gen. Buhari that was commissioned into the army in the 1960s,” it said.
”Those who are behind the latest controversy should now tell Nigerians what happened to Gen. Buhari’s certificates between the time of his affidavit and now.
”However, we know that the PDP and the Jonathan Administration have constituted themselves into a court of law and will like nothing more than the disqualification of our candidate so they will face no challenge in next month’s election. This is wishful thinking.
”It is true that our once globally-respected military has now been made comatose by the PDP-led Federal Government, but we believe things have not reached the level where the same military will be engaging in actions that amount to self-destruction, just to satisfy some political interests.
”We believe things have not reached a level where we, as a nation, will now be giving the impression that a man who rose to become a Major-General in the Nigerian Army does not have requisite qualifications?
”What really is happening in our country if some politicians have now decided to engage in an action that will amount to dragging the military into politics, dividing an institution that is a symbol of national unity, trivializing the service of those who fought to keep Nigeria one and ridiculing the same country it is supposed to be ruling?
”We have said it before and will like to repeat: Enough is enough about this distraction orchestrated by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration whose electioneering campaign for next month’s polls has suffered a train wreck.