Just when Nigerians are starting to move on from the certificate saga that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has had to battle with in recent weeks, the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has advised the former head of state to stop taking Nigerians for granted and show some leadership qualities by taking personal responsibility for clearing his name of charges of forgery and lying on oath.
Speaking in Abuja, Okupe noted that “it is inconceivable that allegations as weighty as forgery and perjury will be made against the person of a retired General and a former Head of State without him deeming it necessary to conclusively debunk such allegations but would rather pass the buck to other persons or organisations.
“We consider this as an unstatesmanlike assault on the intelligence of Nigerians and it represents the greatest challenge between General Buhari and the office he seeks to occupy,” said Okupe.
He recalled that Buhari had, in the last few weeks, domiciled the custody of his secondary school certificate in three different quarters namely; the Military Board, his former secondary school and now the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Unfortunately for the APC candidate, the Examinations body, WAEC, which has the final say on this issue, has also recently declared that it does NOT have any records of Buhari’s secondary school certificate just as the Military authorities did.
“Nigerians will also recall that despite Gen. Buhari’s sordid past and shoddy performance while in Government as Military Head of State and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, the only two factors which his propagandists have hinged his candidacy on, are his supposed incorruptibility and integrity.
“While the report of the Haroun Adamu committee on the mismanagement of a sum of 25 billion Naira at the PTF has completely wiped off the vaunted incorruptibility, the General’s integrity credentials is being threatened by this odious certificate issue. It has, therefore, become imperative for him to quickly put an end to this unnecessary and inexplicable certificate controversies; otherwise the only remaining leg on which he is supposedly standing may be fatally destroyed,” Okupe said.
“It does not show any potential of responsible leadership on the part of those who want to lead Africa’s most populous nation to shun accountability on their personal credential. This tends to suggest that the APC change slogan is cosmetic, puerile and deceitful,” the statement concluded.