The Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari has finally laide the controversy accompanying his educational background to rest by addressing a press conference in Kano State Government House this morning.
Commencing his speech on Wednesday, the former head of state after greeting the gentlemen of the Press, said he only agreed to address the issues surrounding his educational certificates because of the genuine concern expressed by many supporters and other well-meaning Nigerians advising him to do so, if not he (Buhari) would have dismissed it for what it is - sheer mischief and would not have considered it an issue worth the Nation's while.
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“I had assumed all along that all my records were in the custody of the Military Secretary of the Nigerian Army. Much to my surprise, we are now told that although a record of the result is available, there are no copies of the certificates in my personal file. This is why I formally requested my old school, the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina Which is now known as Government College, Katsina to make available the school's copy of the result of the Cambridge/West African School Certificate. This will be made available to the Press the moment this is available.
“However, before we obtain that, let me say for the record that I attended Provincial Secondary School, Katsina. I graduated in 1961 with many prominent Nigerians, including General Shehu Yar'Adua, former chief of staff at the Supreme Headquarters, and Justice Umaru Abdullahi, a former President of the Court of Appeal. We sat for the University of Cambridge/WASC Examination together in 1961, the year we graduated. My examination number was 8280002, and I passed the examination in the Second Division," he said.
The APC presidential candidate, however, noted that though the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) may want to wish the aforementioned facts away, he stressed that the issue in the campaign cannot be his certificate which he obtained 53 years ago.
Buhari said the issues rather are the scandalous level of unemployment of millions of young Nigerians, the state of insecurity, the pervasive official corruption which has impoverished the people and the lack of concern of the government of anything other than the retention of power at all costs.
Meanwhile, the former head of state has been under a lot of pressure lately over the certificate controversy as some Nigerians and the ruling party continue to insist he provides it in order to prove his educational background.
One of such calls recently came from a group called Northern Youth Forum (NYF) who called on Buhari to submit his educational certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, the APC presidential candidate in next month's elections while trying to shield some light on the subject matter at a press conference held in Abuja during the weekend wondered where his accusers were when INEC cleared him to contest elections in 2003, 2007 as well as 2011.