They started with a false news from the Pit of hell which spread like wild fire that a man who was enlisted in the Nigeria Army in the early sixties, served in various capacities as General Officer Commanding (GOC), Military Governor, Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Secretary to the Nigeria army, rose to the rank of General and Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, later Chairman Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) is said not to have educational qualifications to contest the 2015 presidential election.
As time progressed, it was obvious the story was manufactured by the Peoples Democratic Party and President Goodluck Jonathan to deceive Nigerians and make them to vote for a president whose popularity has dipped considerably. They peddled the lies, so that the mindless stealing of public resources by the Peoples Democratic Party led government would continue. They bandied the falsehood deliberately to sway some gullible Nigerians from voting for change which majority of the people are clamouring for.
They took the falsehood to the worrisome dimensions, to the streets of Ashkelon. Rolled out money for different groups to be distracting the electorate and make them believe their lies. Different groups- youths, women, largely the unemployed and sadly, some professionals were dragged in to believe that General Buhari didn’t have certificate. People made quick money as marketing materials were printed nationwide to distribute the lies. T-Shirts, Fez caps, stickers , even bill boards, posters, and banners were produced massively calling on Buhari to tender his certificate. Even more tragic was that Jonathan got the military to toe his line of falsehood as the Nigerian Army where Buhari served meritoriously, claimed at the last minute that they do not have a copy of his School certificate which he used to join the nation’s army in his files that is with them. They claimed that they have on their record that he had five credits from the same exam they helped the public to belive the PDP lies. This is the extent the PDP has gone to destroy this nation (destroying and politicising its military).
All these were happening even after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had cleared General Muhammadu Buhari to contest as Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a political party that it out to clear the PDP mess out of Nigeria. Then came the truth. The general himself, having lost faith in Jonathan’s Army of falsehood, applied to his alma mata for his School Certificate results to be tendered to the public who would vote for him come February 14. He then addressed the media and his result was everywhere for everyone to behold.
Conscience, in the words of Legendary words of Uthman Dan Fodio, is an open wound, only truth can heal. As Nigerians were savouring the truth from Buhari’s alma mata in Katisina, President Goodluck Jonathan through one of his spine doctors, Femi Fani-Kayode, a man who is facing prosecution for money laundering came up with, yet another campaign of calumny. Some PDP apologists said the certificate was not the right one. Some said the certificate was Toronto or forged. Some said Buhari delayed for a long time before his response came out. But the fact remains bare for all Nigerians. It is not how long it takes to get the truth out that matters, what counts in any sane society is the emergence of truth on any matter. It is important to educted Nigerians who may not know that the man, Buhari lost all his credential when his government was toppled by General Ibrahim Babangida coup in 1984. While under arrest, his house was ransacked and virtually vandalised and vital documents, including his certificates carted away by agents of the state who till date are unknown to Buhari. This explains why he came up with an affidavit which have been accepted by INEC all through his two contestations for the Presidency in 2007, and 2011. Even now. One expects those in position of authority, like President Jonathan to know better and explain to their followers.
It is obvious to all today that General Muhammadu Buhari is eminently qualified to contest for elections and Nigerians direly crave for him to be their President from May 29, 2015. Timing of his explanations at least helped to trace the origin of the lies- the spineless PDP.
The resort to cheap blackmail that Buhari does not have certificate and the loss of all monies expended in the propagation of that falsehood led to the last minute desperation of Femi-Fani Kayode who started calling on Buhari to submit himself to Jonathan’s police for prosecution, accusing him of perjury and claiming that Buhari lied on oath. But here is Femi Fani-Kayode, facing corruption charges in court till date. Erudite Lagos Lawyer, Festus Keyamo is currently prosecuting him in court and the case has been adjourned to February 23 and 24 for trial. Part of the lies told is that Femi Fani-Kayode has been freed whereas some of the counts in the Charge were just struck out and the court held that he has a case to answer on some other counts. This is the man appointed by President Goodluck Jonahan as Head of Publicity.
The resort to issue of certificate was after it was clear to Jonathan that the lies they were peddling around Buhari as a supporter of Boko Haram fell on its face. It became obvious to Nigerians and members of the international community that Boko Haram grew because President Jonathan lacked the capacity to tackle insurgency. This is so evident given that, the omnipresent insurgents have attacked towns like Baga, Damaturu, Biu, Askira-Uba, Konduga, Marte and Gombe. Even as we speak, the Boko Haram insurgents are in total control of the whole of Borno State except Maiduguri, Monguno, Dikwa, Konduga and Biu. The insurgents are in total control of towns like Baga, Bama, Gwoza and Banki. The six years misrule of the Jonathan’s administration has showed how clueless they are in tackling insurgency.
Now that President Jonathan and the PDP have emptied their bag of lies with more and more Nigerians prepared to vote for a Change, they are obviously afraid of the February 14 elections and the new game is their recent call for postponement of elections as it is clear that even rigging would not be condoned by INEC and Nigerians. This was why they have to dispatch the National Security Adviser to the President, Alhaji Sambo Dasuki to Chatham House in London where called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the February elections by three months. But in making that unpopular call, the PDP failed to realise that INEC is neither an appendage of any political party nor a department of the PDP. They forgot that INEC is the property of the entire Nigerian and would not succumb to the whims and caprices of a desperate elite in the PDP who want to hang on to power at all cost.
Nigerians are already, well united with the All Progressives Congress (APC) that elections must hold as scheduled so that we could speedily flush out the non-performing PDP from the leadership of our dear nation. This is why Nigerians are today asking President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP why are they afraid of elections? After all, they have criss-crossed the length and breath of this country campaigning. They have gone to the East, West, North and South selling President Jonathan. But they forget to realise that there is no amount of packaging or campaign that can market a rotten good. President Jonathan has presided over one of the most corrupt regimes in Nigeria’s chequered history. Even with all his paper qualifications and doctorate degree, Nigerians are not getting good governance. Infrastructures are still terribly bad, no electricity, no roads, water is still a far cry, education is in a sorry state, no dependable health facilities, to the extent that the PDP Hench men and women fly overseas for their treatment and check up leaving our hospitals in a state of dilapidation.
President Jonathan and the PDP should stop talking about postponement of elections, they should rather concede defeat by throwing in the towel and allow Muhamadu Buhari and the APC chance to repair Nigeria for the benefit of all and generations unborn.
· Mr. Dan Owegie is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.

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