Still On Buhari Certificate Scandal – By Nafata Bamaguje

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For me the troubling aspect of Buhari certificate scandal is not his lack of secondary school certification as constitutionally demanded of presidential candidates, but the totally inept and downright idiotic manner he mishandled the issue.

The General totally messed up himself with the litany of avoidable blunders and missteps that raise serious questions about his common sense and intellect, which he is suppose to deploy in salvaging our troubled nation.

 

But then common sense and intelligence have never been Buhari’s strong point, as evidenced by his numerous public gaffes.

We are talking about a presidential aspirant in a multi-religious country who does not have the common sense to steer clear of divisive religious politicking as he vociferously backed the Sharia agitation that gave us Boko Haram.

He enjoined Muslims to only vote for Muslims, and idiotically declared that an attack on Boko Haram was an attack on the North.

 

During his brief tyranny, his response to shortage of basic goods occasioned by 1980s fall in oil prices, was to dispatch soldiers to break into warehouses and force traders at gun point to sell below market price. That’s the numbskull we are supposed to trust with running our sick economy currently again battered by low oil prices.

 

Nonetheless, one expected a modicum of common sense in the certificate saga, particularly as he is supposed to have public relations professionals managing his presidential campaign.

But then I suppose there’s limit to how much professional spin can cover idiocy. As Obama once put it “you can put a lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

 

First Buhari blatantly lied that his original certificates were with the military. Certificates are personal property of the individual, not the institution awarding them, nor one’s employers. So Buhari’s absurd claim was downright silly… to any thinking adult who possesses an educational certificate.

 

Not surprisingly, the military refuted his bogus claim, as they insisted they do not keep originals of any soldier’s certificate. No Nigerian soldier has publicly contradicted this salient declaration.

Yet Buhari and his sycophants disingenuously whine about our military being politicized, because Nigerian Army stated the obvious.

 

Our military – or any reputable organization for that matter – is obliged to respond to publicly leveled charges, particularly one that concerns an issue of major national importance – presidential election. That’s not politicization, it is common sense and good PR. Buhari was the one who needlessly brought in the military into the matter by lying against them.

 

Even it were true that Buhari’s original certificates are with the military, common sense demands that he get in touch with the “military board” to obtain copies for INEC as demanded by Section 131(d) of our amended 1999 Constitution, rather than tender an affidavit.

Affidavits are tendered when relevant documents are irretrievably lost, not when they could easily be obtained by a simple phone call to Defence HQ. Or from his former Katsina school, which purportedly released Buhari’s Cambridge school cert result.

 

It is an egregious abuse of the court process to swear affidavit for documents whose whereabouts are known and can be easily retrieved. NJC should query and sanction the dishonorable judge who signed such an affidavit. Any upright thinking Judge could have simply advised the General to obtain the required copies from the military.

 

That Buhari refused to do the obvious common sense thing – request copies from the military – suggests that he is either too stupid to appreciate a simple straightforward course of action. Or he is lying and does not have the required secondary school certificate.

 

The latter is more likely because Buhari stated in a Sun interview that he only had 9 years of formal schooling before joining the army. Hear him:

Not many children had the opportunity to go to school, but I went to school. I left home at the age of 10 or 11 and went to school, like I said. And I was in the boarding school for nine years. In primary school and secondary school, I was in the boarding house and from there, I went straight into the Army.

 

With only 3 years of secondary education (plus six years of primary), he couldn’t have written school certificate examination. So the Cambridge result tendered by Government College, Katsina is fraudulent.

 

As has already been severally pointed out, the forged document dated in 1961 is on Katsina state Ministry of Education letterhead. We all know Katsina state did not exist in 1961. What more, it was signed on 21st January 2015 and carries Buhari current passport photograph. Clearly it was a recent shoddy fabrication to salvage Buhari’s sullied reputation battered by the mismanaged certificate scandal.

As Punch newspaper rightly points out, there is no name or signature of any Cambridge university official on the accompanying Cambridge result sheet.

 

It is absurd that 53 years after Buhari purportedly graduated from Government College, Katsina, he can only tender a recent hand-filled statement of result.

By now he should have his final Cambridge certificate. Statements of result are temporary documents pending when certificate is ready. Buhari is well advised to get in touch with Cambridge University examination council to clear his name.

 

So far no one can produce an authentic copy of Buhari’s secondary certificate. Not the military, not his former school, not the Cambridge University exam council and certainly not Buhari himself. Surely, the PDP anti-Buhari conspiracy can’t be that pervasive.

How is it possible that a supposedly educated person cannot produce even photocopy of his certificates? Such an irresponsible person should not be entrusted with leadership of 160 million people. Buhari’s affidavit did not declare his certificates lost.

 

The glaring truth is that Buhari did not attain school cert requirement for officer cadet recruitment, but was pushed through nonetheless because of Emir connections, which the General tacitly alluded to in the same Sun interview:

 

“The Emirs of Katsina, from Dikko, were known to be interested in the military… everybody in the country knows General Hassan, the son of the Emir of Katsina… His father, the Emir of Katsina, Usman Nagogo, used to ask him to go and talk to the senior students who were in form four to six, to get them interested in the military.”

 

But by his own account, Buhari did not even make it to form “four to six” before joining the military officer corp. And because standard was lowered for him to join military officer corps, the arrogant supposedly principled General expects Nigerians to continue bending rules for him. Hence he did not bother to obtain copies of whatever certificates he claimed were with the military for INEC registration.

 

Instead Buhari who is glorified as MaiGaskiya (truthful or upright person), blatantly lied and perjured in an affidavit claiming what he did not have. The obtuse General obviously learnt nothing from the certificate scandals of his namesake, former House Speaker Salisu Buhari, and his APC Godfather Bola Tinubu.

 

Although Buhari did not complete secondary education, his training in various military academies more than makes up for lack of verifiable secondary school certificate.

He should have stuck with that simple position rather than tender false affidavit telling blatant lies about certificates he does not have. Or worse still, conspiring with his former school to forge a statement of result.

 

It is possible Buhari might have later sat for Cambridge examination as an external candidate. In that case Provincial Secondary school, Katsina,a.k.a. Government College, Katsina would simply be an examination centre, and wouldn’t have his result since he was not their candidate. So again the Cambridge school cert result released by Katsina College is dubious.

 

The inane casuistry peddled by Buharimaniacs that the General got away with a false affidavits in past three elections, does not help. Just because one got away with a crime previously, is not a license to continue perpetrating the same crime without prosecution.

By the same asinine illogic, politicians who got away with our stolen wealth in the past can indefinitely continue their kleptocracy without fear of prosecution. Buhari’s hyped anti-corruption drive would then be dead on arrival.

 

The General and his propagandists then disingenuously tried to change the subject and divert our attention with the lame casuistry that certificate is not the issue:

 

“…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…”

 

We Nigerians know what our problems are, but we cannot trust a dumbass certificate forger who tells blatant unintelligent lies that even a 5 year old can see through, to deal with the myriad of problems plaguing us.

 

Presently there are two court cases demanding Buhari’s disqualification, on account of his lack of basic certification and perjury as per Section 31(5-6) of our 2010 Electoral Act:

 

“Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given by a candidate in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate is false may file a suit at the Federal High Court… If the Court determines that any of the information contained in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate is false, the Court shall issue an order disqualifying the candidate from contesting the election.

 

If Buhari is disqualified or his highly unlikely victory later overturned, his violent supporters would then go on murderous rampage as they did in 2011. If he truly loves this country, he should back out now and spare us another orgy of bloodletting as he once threatened – Kare jini Biri jini.

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