The Nigerian Army said it did not have the original, certified true copy or statement of results of retired General Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate for the February general elections.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Olajide Laleye, said this while briefing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. 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.
“With credits in relevant subjects: English Language, Geography, History, Health Science, Hausa and a pass in English Literature.
“Neither the original copy, certified true copy (CTC) nor statement of result of Major-.Gen. Mohammadu Buhari‘s WASC result is in his personal file.
Mr. Laleye said 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 Mr. Buhari rose steadily to the enviable rank of Major General before becoming the Head of State of the country in December 1983.
“The media hype on the retired Buhari’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 officer’s service records.
“Records available indicate that Buhari applied to join the military as a form six student of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, on Oct. 18, 1961.
“His 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.
“It is a practice in the Nigerian Army that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of the service, the selection board verifies the original copies of credentials as presented.
“There is no available record to show that this process was followed in the 1960s,” Mr. Laleye said.
On the recent CNN report concerning issues of kitting, equipment, corruption and medical treatment, Mr. Laleye said there was no Army in the world where personnel did not purchase additional uniforms and kits to augment those officially assigned to them.
“Accordingly, the army has not failed to issue uniforms and kits to its personnel periodically.
“Like other armies, the Nigerian Army has over the years, established ordinance shops in all its barracks and cantonments where uniforms and kits are sold at subsidized prices to its personnel from allowances already provided in their pay slips.
“Similarly the Nigerian Army has a very functional healthcare delivery system in the country. It fully subscribes to the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) and this is functional in all its health facilities.
The army spokesperson said that the army had made undoubted operational gains in the North-East of recent, thereby rubbishing the claim that Boko Haram had out-gunned it.
He said that the CNN would do well if it beamed its searchlight on the atrocities of Boko Haram terrorists against the innocent and defenseless Nigerians, rather than the Nigerian Army.
Mr. Laleye said the army would remain focused on its mission to rid Nigeria of terrorism and insurgency.
To that end, he said, the army had commenced the implementation of the “extensive operational , administrative and logistical decisions’’ reached during the 2014 Chief of Army staff Annual Conference.
He said in no distant future, Nigerians would begin to see very positive results in terms of security, particularly in the North-East and the nation.