Festus Keyamo, the director-general of communications for President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, has stated how one can become president of the country without a West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) certificate.
Mr Keyamo, while featuring on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television at the weekend said anyone wishing to become president should first serve as a public servant for a reasonable number of years.
The programme also had Segun Sowunmi, the spokesman of Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in attendance.
The duo were speaking on the eligibility of messrs Abubakar and Buhari to contest the presidential election.
While the former vice president in his petition to the presidential election tribunal claimed the president is not qualified for the position having failed to submit his WAEC certificate, Mr Buhari through his party argued that Abubakar was not qualified because he is not a Nigerian.
Although he did not specify the duration expected from whoever is eyeing the exalted office, the presidential spokesman said after the service the person could become president without his or her WAEC certificate.
“There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of President. In fact, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria,” Mr Keyamo said.
The spokesman who stated that no one had the power to question the educational body, also quoted a section of the Nigerian Constitution to back up his claim.
“Yes. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed,” he said in a tweet on Sunday.
Defending his pricipal, Mr Sowunmi stated that the former number two citizen who hails from Adamawa State is a Nigerian because the territory belongs to the country.
“Atiku is a Nigerian; he’s the Waziri of Adamawa. He is former vice president, former governorship candidate and I think that every territory of Nigeria is a Nigerian territory,” he said.