Certificate scandals threaten 2019 dreams of political heavyweights

Posted by News Express | 17 November 2018 | 1,724 times

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•President Buhari receives his WAEC certificate

The muddy waters of power has already made casualty of some politicians as politics, law and morality come to play ahead of the 2019 elections over the issue of academic and other qualifications with many politicians who have tasted the sweetness of office having sleepless nights to remain in the corridors of power amidst resistance by their opponents and ‘whistle blowers’.

The recent publication of particulars of candidates for various offices by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed a kind of “humility” by many aspirants who simply showcased the minimum academic qualifications required by law which is their secondary school results in order to shut out those trying to undermine them.

Shortly after the latest publication by INEC, the debate on certificates, rather than issues relating to development, took the centre stage of political discuss.

President Buhari

On November 2, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) issued an “attestation certificate” to President Muhammadu Buhari after much furore.

Before the presentation, Buhari had been severely criticised by opposition politicians and activists soon after they scrutinized his particulars and discovered that he said his school certificate was still with the military authorities.

Buhari was actually in the eye of the storm despite the fact that there are over 70 presidential aspirants in the race who have all showcased various kinds of certificates.

Bindow’s WAEC controversy

The certificate controversy surrounding the candidacy of Adamawa State governor, Muhammadu Jibrilla Bindow, came to public knowledge when the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered an accelerated hearing of a case of certificate forgery filed by a non-governmental group, Incorporated Trustees of Global Integrity Crusade Network, against the governor.

There are fears that unless Governor Bindow escapes miraculously, he might likely be replaced by the APC ahead of next year’s election to avoid losing the governorship seat to the opposition if the court establishes that he actually forged the result he is claiming.

It is alleged that the governor who attended Government Secondary School Miango in Plateau State, did not sit for the final secondary school examination conducted by WAEC and therefore submitted a fake result to INEC in 2015 before he became governor.

Ashiru’s certificate case and Kaduna PDP

There have been reports since Alhaji Isa Ashiru emerged the governorship flag bearer of the PDP in Kaduna State, that there are issues with his credentials.

It has remained one of the issues his media team had to battle with it for weeks but just as the matter was about to die down, a major stakeholder in the party, Dr. Muhammad Sani-Bello, brought it up.

Dr. Bello, one of the PDP governorship aspirants who later withdrew from the race to support Ashiru, made the observation about discrepancies in the educational qualification of Ashiru formal by publicly making it an issue in the factors that made him resign from the PDP.

Atunwa’s problem in Kwara

There are allegations that the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kwara State, Razak Atunwa, did not participate in the NYSC programme.

Atunwa was alleged to have sourced a forged NYSC discharge certificate which he submitted to the PDP to prove his eligibility for the office of governor.

The development has generated a lot of disquiet in the state and among members of the party, with insinuations that if fully established, he might likely be replaced by Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the erstwhile national publicity secretary of the APC who   recently followed Senate President Bukola Saraki to the PDP.

It was rumoured that one of the PDP aspirants during the primary election who is close to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, blew the whistle about the fake NYSC certificate.

Adebayo Shittu screened out

The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu could not also actualize his dream of becoming governor in Oyo State after he was screened out by the APC over his failure to participate in the NYSC.

Shittu, a SAN who has already gone to court to seek interpretation, said he believed serving as a member of the House of Assembly soon after graduating from the Law School was enough replacement for the NYSC programme.

Excerpted from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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