Posted by News Express | 4 January 2015 | 4,384 times
Former Head of State and All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming elections, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the certificate saga against him was meant to ridicule him and his quest to wrest power from President Goodluck Jonathan.
Buhari, who spoke with The Guardian through his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, Saturday, explained that the present crop of Army personnel has been politicised, the reason for which an officer would challenge the certificates of his superior just to cast an aspersion on him and also favour his principal who would be vying for the same election.
Fashakin said: “The controversy that is being generated by the certificate issue is something that is not acceptable. They are just looking for something to hold desperately to be able to prevent Buhari.
“What are the facts of this case? Before now, Gen. Buhari had contested elections for three occasions. Are you going to say that he didn’t present any certificate for those three times? He also had risen to the position of a Major General in the Army and all his credentials are well documented by the Army in those days. It is not only that he rose to the position of a Major General; he also rose to the position of a military Head of State.
“Now, the Army of that same country claims that he does not have a certificate. It is something that should puzzle us as a people. The Chief of Army Staff said that he does not know what people are talking about, meaning that they do not have records of his certification to have passed certain courses, including academic attainments.”
According to Buhari, “These are issues that raise some questions. That we can have a Major General in the army, whose certificates are now being subjected to debate, point to some political ends. What I would say is that this is a no case submission.
“May be, the person talking about General Buhari’s certificates today, was just struggling to become a Captain when Buhari was Head of State. Where was he then? So, if they are talking of Buhari’s certificates in the Army, the first question we should ask is: who is the person talking?”
He also argued: “If the Army can come out to deny its own, especially someone who became a GOC, and also commanded three of the four divisions of the Nigerian Army as it were, and now to be subjected to this kind of vilification because of some obvious indescribable political ends, then you know that there is something fundamentally wrong with the nation.
“As a matter of fact, General Buhari was even a prefect in his secondary school, so... it is even a shame on all of us that someone who became our Head of State would now have to be ridiculed in this manner because of some terrible political ends that some people are pursuing. It is a collective shame on us as a people.”
The Nigerian army had on Friday explained that it does not keep original certificates of its officers and men of the force, stressing that the officers’ file contains only photocopy of their credentials.
•Adapted from a Guardian on Sunday report. Photo shows Buhari.
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