The All Progressives Congress (APC) ascribed wrong titles to two of its governors and a minister in a document it recently released to the public, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
The party committed the infraction in the list of its 86-member Campaign Council for the July 15 governorship election in Osun State released on Tuesday.
In the document, the party referred to Governors AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as well as the Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Sunday Dare, as doctoral degree holders.
The document was signed by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore.
The campaign council, co-chaired by Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, was constituted to help the party canvass votes for its candidate, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who is seeking a second term.
Checks by PREMIUM TIMES, however, revealed that Messrs AbdulRazaq, Bello and Dare do not hold doctoral degrees and are not medical doctors.
None of them has also been awarded honourary doctoral degrees by a degree-awarding institution anywhere in the world that would have qualified them to be addressed with the title of “Dr”.
Mr AbdulRazaq presented a secondary school certificate to contest the 2019 governorship election and has never claimed on record to hold a higher degree or certificate.
When his claim of attending Government College, Kaduna and sitting the secondary school certificate examination in 1976 was challenged by one of his opponents, the election petition tribunal dismissed the petition after an official of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) testified that he sat the examination at the school.
For the Kogi State Governor, this newspaper confirmed that he has tertiary institution qualifications.
However, there is no record of him bagging a Ph.D from any institution to qualify for the doctorate title APC gave him in the document.
Mr Bello obtained both his accounting degree and Masters in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Mr Dare, a former journalist, bagged a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) honours in International Studies in 1991 and his Master of Arts (MA) in Law and Diplomacy dates back to 1996.
Beyond these two academic qualifications and some awards and recognitions, there is no record showing that he bagged a Ph.D.
Calls to the spokesperson of the Kwara and Kogi State Governors, Rafiu Ajakaye and Muhammed Onogwu respectively, were nor answered.
Toyin Ibitoye, Mr Dare’s spokesperson, could also not be reached for comments.
It’s a new low for the ruling party – Fact Check Expert
The Editor of Dubawa, a fact-checking platform, Kemi Busari, said it is disappointing that the APC leaders appended their signatures to the document without cross checking their facts.
Stating that though the act of spreading misinformation, disinformation and fake news in Nigeria is not new to him, Mr Busari said the involvement of a ruling party in such an act is a “new low” in his years of fact checking claims from members of political parties.
“I feel it is very wrong for them to put a doctorate in their title even if it’s honorary. If they must do that, they should have indicated by putting it in brackets. It is very bad coming from a ruling party, and it also confirms the level of trust gap between people and their leaders.
“We are going into another election year where a lot of people will use a lot of parameters in making their decision, one of such is candidates’ academic qualifications. Why should I trust you if you are parading someone or a candidate with B.Sc or Masters holder as Ph.D holder for me?
“It is very detrimental to decision making when the information coming out is false and this becomes a problem for the electorate,” Mr Busari said.
Editor’s Note: This story was reedited to correct some factual errors, specifically with respect to Governor AbdulRazaq’s credentials.
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