Buhari to speak Wednesday over his qualification for election

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, will speak to the media Tuesday on details of his qualification, amid a raging controversy on whether he is fit to stand for the February 14 election, his campaign office said.

The Buhari campaign office said Tuesday that the former military ruler will speak to the media at 9a.m. in Kano, where he is currently canvassing for votes.

The announcement came hours after the Nigerian Army denied having Mr. Buhari’s Senior Secondary School certificate, casting a doubt on whether Mr. Buhari met the basic qualification to be enlisted into the military in 1962.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Olajide Laleye, said the entry made on the Nigerian Army Form 199A at the point of documentation after Mr. 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.
However, he said “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.”

He cited records confirming that Mr. 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,” Mr. Laleye said.

He however explained that while it is a practice in the Army that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of the service, the selection board verifies their original copies of credentials, there is no available record to show that that process was followed in the 1960s.

The Army’s details have heightened debates on whether Mr. Buhari, despite undertaking higher cadre military courses, has met the constitutional requirement that a Nigerian must have attained a minimum of SSCE or its equivalent to stand for the highest office in the country.

A statement by Garba Shehu, the media director for his campaign team, said Mr. Buhari will respond on Wednesday. The party said Mr. Buhari remains “fit as fiddle”, but did not give further details.

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