For saying one does not need a West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) certificate to man the seat of leadership in the country, Festus Keyamo, the director-general of communications of President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, has come under attack by some Nigerians.
Mr Keyamo had at the weekend opined that his pricipal does not need the afro-mentioned academic credential as a qualification to be president because he has already served as a public servant for a number of years.
Mr Buhari, a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army and a former Petroleum Minister, faced a certificate controversy during the 2015 general election when he sought to be democratically elected president.
At the time, he claimed the military was in possession of his certificate. After winning the election and indicated interest to go for a second term, the issue was brought to the fore again, this time, the educational body presented an attestation certificate to him but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its supporters are not letting the sleeping dog lie.
The issue is one of the points Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the opposition, has against Buhari, who trounced him with about 4 million votes, at the presidential election tribunal.
Banking on the claim of Keyamo that anyone can man the seat of leadership without possessing the academic document, the critics questioned why Senator Ademola Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the PDP during the Osun State gubernatorial election, was dragged to court over his academic credentials when he is a public servant.
The lawmaker had accused the APC of forming alliance with the Nigeria Police, which charged him for the offence, to stop him from re-claiming his mandate.
Mr Adeleke was said to have presented a fake academic documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he was chosen as the governorship candidate of the party, he is still in court to defend himself.
Differentiating between the two scenarios, Keyamo said that of his principal is a lost certificate for which an attestation has been issued while that of Adeleke is adjudged to have been forged.
“By the definition of “School Certificate or its equivalent” in section 318 of the 1999 const. u don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor, but if you present a FORGED WAEC or other certificate to INEC for any office you will be disqualified,” the spokesman said in a tweet on Monday.
“Forgery occurs when the supposed author of a document denies ever making it or denies its authenticity. WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed. In #OsunCaseScenario WAEC has denied the authenticity. See d difference?” he added.