CERTIFCATE SCANDAL: Buhari Set To Address The Press Today
The statement said Buhari will use the forum in Kano to clear the air over the controversy generated over his academic qualifications, in the wake of the disclosure by the Nigerian army spokesman that the army does not have a copy of his school certificate in his military record.
At a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Brig-. Gen. Olajide Laleye, the army spokesman said the Nigerian Army does not have the original, certified true copy or statement of results of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
Laleye said that the entry made on the Nigerian Army Form 199A at the point of documentation after Buhari was commissioned as an officer, indicated that the former Head of State obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961, â€œWith credits in relevant subjects: English Language, Geography, History, Health Science, Hausa and a pass in English Literature.
â€œNeither the original copy, certified true copy (CTC) nor statement of result of Major-.Gen. Mohammadu Buhari â€˜s WASC result is in his personal file.
Laleye said that the army holds the retired senior officer in high esteem and respect and would not be a party to any controversy surrounding his eligibility for any political office.
He said that suffice to state that Buhari rose steadily to the enviable rank of Major General before becoming the Head of State of the country in December 1983.
â€œThe media hype on the retired Buhariâ€™s credentials as well as numerous requests made by individuals and cooperate bodies to the Nigerian Army on this issue have necessitated that we provide the facts as contained in the retired senior officerâ€™s service records.
â€œRecords available indicate that Buhari applied to join the military as a form six student of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, on Oct. 18, 1961.
â€œHis application was duly endorsed by the principal of the school, who also wrote a report on him and recommended him to be suitable for military commission.
â€œIt is a practice in the Nigerian Army that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officersâ€™ cadre of the service, the selection board verifies the original copies of credentials as presented.
â€œThere is no available record to show that this process was followed in the 1960s,â€ Laleye said.
However, Laleye who addressed a press conference on yesterday to announce that the army could not find General Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s school leaving certificate in its records, had already been redeployed from that post, military sources say.
Besides, those documents had just been released to General Buhari, less than 24 hours after the former Head of State requested them, and the sources said they were surprised Brigadier Olaleye Lajide was addressing the press. He was supposed to have handed over to his successor, Colonel SK Usman, and assumed duty as the Brigade Commander of the Fourth Brigade Battalion in Benin City, Edo State.
Of the documents, Buhariâ€™s aides said the presidential candidate had not had a chance to look at them since they were sent to his office in Abuja last night by one Major General Abba, while he was busy preparing for campaigns and Kano and Jigawa States.
Sources said it was unclear why Brigadier Olaleye, rather than hand over to Colonel Usman, chose to call a press conference to discuss Buhariâ€™s certificate.
Meanwhile, Buhari has called a press conference of his own scheduled to hold this morning. Garba Shehu, Director of Media and Publicity in the APC presidential campaign, said the general will speak about the certificate controversy.
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