Ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said it is abusive and ridiculous to demand the academic credentials of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Muhammad Buhari (rtd).
The former president stated this during the launch of his book, My Watch, in London.
He said when he himself joined the military it was obligatory that one must have a WASC or a GCE before being recruited to the armed forces.
Obasanjo said the requirements were the same when Gen Buhari joined the military in 1961, and that even if Buhari did not have the obligatory credentials then, he had since gone through the staff college, which is equal to a first degree, and the US War College which is equivalent to a master’s degree.
He said: “If anybody thinks that I’m illiterate or uneducated after attending many military institutions in the UK, India and the US, they should read my books”, urging those raising the Buhari qualification issue to “focus on real issues and stop degenerating into trivialities”.
The former president responded to questions from the audience on various socio-political matters affecting Nigeria.
On whether he was overheating the Nigerian polity with his statements, Obasanjo said: “I am not heating anything. When things are going bad and you can’t say anything, you are an accomplice. If anybody can prove that what I am saying is wrong, I will apologise”.
On the Chibok girls, the former president criticised the federal government for taking too long to acknowledge the abduction, and not doing enough to bring back the girls, underlining that though the girls may never come back again, “we must not forget them”.
Obasanjo said in spite of the challenges facing Nigeria, the country’s future is “rosy” and bright, stressing that the country had confronted similar problems in the past, including the civil war, but had come out stronger.
“God will see Nigeria through. Nigeria will emerge successfully and move up and forward," he said.
The controversial autobiography, yesterday, February 11.
The former president supposedly has endorsed Buhari in the coming election, and Buhari said he was “happy” with the development.