KANO – Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections yesterday said he went to a secondary school and would produce the certificate.
Buhari, who made the clarification at a news conference in Kano, said he attended the former Provisional Secondary School, Katsina, now Government College, Katsina.
The APC candidate’s clarification was sequel to the assertion of Nigerian Army authorities that they were not in possession of his academic certificates, especially for secondary school.
Buhari had, when the issue of his academic qualification to support his nomination for the presidential election came up, said that his academic records were with army authorities.
At the news conference, he said “all my records were in the custody of the Secretary, Nigerian Army, a position I was privileged to occupy myself.
“But since I am now told that although a record of the result is available but there is no copy of the certificate in my personal file, I have formally requested my old school to make available the school copy of the result’’.
According to him, I have formally applied for the issuance of my Cambridge West African School Certificate from the Provisional Secondary school, now Government College, Katsina.
Buhari said that he graduated from the school in 1961 with other prominent Nigerians, including late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, and Justice Umaru Abdullahi, the former President, Federal Court of Appeal.
“As soon as the result is ready it will be distributed to newsmen for their verification.
“My examination number is 8200002 and I passed the examination with second division, “he said.
He described the allegation that he did not attend a secondary school and had no certificate that qualified him for the presidential contest as ‘’baseless’’, saying that it was intended to discredit him. Meanwhile, Dr Tunji Abayomi, a constitutional lawyer, yesterday in Abuja said that retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Party (APC) presidential candidate, had fulfilled the constitutional requirements to contest for the office of President.
Abayomi, who stated this in an interview with journalists, said the logic of Section 131(d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution focused not on certificates but on educational level.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Army had on Tuesday said that it was not in possession of Buhari’s original copies of West African School Certificate (WASC) or statement of result.
“All that the constitution plainly requires in section 131(d) is a show that he has been educated up to the school certificate level or its equivalent, not any particular certificate.
“A certificate where available may well prove the education level of the citizen desirous of becoming president, but without it, he can still meet the educational qualification by other modes of proof.
“Buhari’s written profile, with or without the presentation of any certificates, supported by his deposition, puts it beyond doubt that he has been educated beyond School Certificate Level or its equivalent,’’ he said.