President Muhammadu Buhari’s seeming lack of credible school certificate has become a thorn or storm in our collective teacups. Nigerians went through this theatre of a country’s president who has found it difficult to present his qualifications to INEC to enable him contest the presidential elections in 2019.
During his first coming he went through similar drama when he claimed that the papers were with the military. With just a few months to the 2019 presidential elections the old man says his certificates are with the military.
In a swift reaction the military claimed he never had any certificate but he was drafted into the military from secondary school in Katsina College. In those good old days, soldiering was like the fad amongst the Northern youths as their chosen profession, which needed to take over from the British at Independence.
Soldiering did not need the classical certificates and degrees for them. What they needed was courage to go and fight battles to keep Nigeria one. The more bullets they can absorb the better for the country.
Meanwhile, the Southerners who believed in Queens English rushed to Kings and Queens Colleges so that administratively they could take over from the out- going- British colonial Masters.
This time around, in the build up to the 2019 elections, the matter had cropped up again and Mr. President has been ridiculed by the continuous claims that his certificates were held up by the military. The Public Relation section of the military spoke boldly we do not have his certificates with us.
The INEC chairman Prof Mahmud Yakubu has sent the onus back to Nigerians to the effect that if President Buhari’s certificates were not attached as constitutionally required, Nigerians should do the needful. Go to court to stop the President from contesting in 2019.
Is Prof Mahmud merely begging the question and passing the buck to hapless Nigerians for the job he was appointed to do on behalf of Nigerians? Can the INEC boss stop Mr. President from contesting being the only President endorsed by his Party APC?
A constitutional crisis is already brewing in the air and unless there is an alternatie to Buhari for the elections, he would be walked over by Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. If INEC had cleared Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2015 elections with affidavits as certificates does INEC have any moral grounds to stop same Buhari in 2019?
We are in a quagmire because refusing him to contest could provoke a backlash of Hausa- Fulani flares in parts of the country and eventually may truncate the march towards a successful 2019 election.
How far can Nigerians go to force either Buhari or Prof Mahmud to allow a level playing field for all the contestants so that he would not be accused of partiality towards the President who employed him in the first place?
Can a political servant disobey his boss and still keep his job? Not in Nigeria, especially, when it is tied to a Fulani relation. The catcalls and arguments over President Buhari to annex his certificates to his forms for the elections is becoming demeaning and humiliating. Nigerians are asking their president to dance naked in the political square and show his credentials.
It is becoming too late in the day to look out for a substitute to take over the APC contender. The folk hero status enjoyed by Buhari would be difficult to replicate in another politician in the north as contenders. The option left for INEC and Nigerian voters is to vote their conscience. Those who are anti Buhari should register their anger using their votes to say ‘No’.
Since the political parties are not ideologically driven we vote the way we like and leave the final outcome to the final results. The running debate is not about Buhari per se but a test of his integrity as a person.
The debate has detracted from his person as an honest Nigerian who would not indulge in actions capable of turning him into a public ridicule. There is mulishness about him being a Cow Fulani. He feels no shame believes that at the end of the day the ragtag noise would settle down to the reality of him being allowed to contest the elections.
The danger in him being allowed tom participate in the elections could also provide more ammunition for the opposition parties to scandalise him further at every campaign ground where opponents would reel out the damage to our Nation being ruled by a man openly defying the calls on him to step aside because he lacked the certificate of the minimum qualification to contest the Presidency in 2019.
It is ridiculous and shameful for our collective psyche to want to enthrone a President who lacks the minimum school certificate result. Nigerians also agreed that certificates do not make good leaders or governance. But to keep within the Constitutional requirements for our leaders, it was perhaps good and proper that we followed due process as a Nation of civilised people.
Before you Run (1)
“Whatever political level you have laced up to run for: presidential, governorship, senatorial, house, local government, or ward, before you run, hear now what you are coming in to run or govern.”