Festus Keyamo, Director of Strategic Communications, All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has said that President Muhammadu Buhari does not need the West African Examination Council, WAEC Certificate to contest for the office of the President.
Keyamo argued that based on the provisions of the Constitution, an aspirant does not need a WAEC certificate to become a president or governor in the country, hence the provision simply stated school certificate which could even be primary school certificate.
He made the assertion on his verified Twitter handle @fkeyamo on Monday while apparently responding to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP allegations that Buhari did not deserve to run for presidency on account of the controversies surrounding his WAEC certificate.
“There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of president. In fact, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the Constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become president of Nigeria”.
The APC Campaign Spokesperson however said, in the Osun case, PDP’s candidate in the election, Ademola Adeleke, was sued in separate instances by the opposition and also by members of his party concerning the status of his WAEC certificate.
“Yes. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ to mean Primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. No WAEC certificate is needed.
“By the definition of ‘School Certificate or its equivalent’ in Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution, you don’t need a WAEC certificate to become President or Governor, but if you present a FORGED WAEC or other certificate to INEC for any office you will be disqualified. #OsunStateScenario”.
According to him, forgery occurs when the supposed author of a document denies ever making it or denies its authenticity in the case of Adeleke unlike in Buhari case where, “WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed”.
“In Osun case scenario, WAEC has denied the authenticity. See the difference? It is extremely foolish for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to challenge the body that has the statutory power to issue certificates.
“Let me end my free lecture series by saying that the crux of the matter is that if you don’t have a WAEC certificate, there’s no need to go ahead and forge one in a bid to be governor or president.
You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in Osun case scenario”.