The Director Strategic Communications of President Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has said that one does not need to have a West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate to become President or Governor in Nigeria.
Keyamo stated this via his Twitter handle on Monday while responding to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had argued that Muhammadu Buhari didn’t deserve to run for the presidency on account of the controversies surrounding his WAEC certificate.
Just like the 2018 Osun governorship election scenario, where the 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.
Kayamo in Reaction twitted:
“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.”
“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.”
He also argued that Buhari’s certificate is not in question because WAEC itself confirmed that the President passed his examination and was issued a certificate.
In differentiating between President Buhari’s case and the situation with Senator Ademola Adeleke, Keyamo noted via Twitter that the case in Osun state borders upon a forgery.
“Forgery occurs when the supposed author of a document denies ever making it or denies its authenticity. WAEC has confirmed the authenticity of PMB’s certificate by issuing an attestation of it. Case closed. In OsunCaseScenario WAEC has denied authenticity. See the difference?
“It becomes extremely foolish for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to come and 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 & forge one in a bid to be Governor or President. You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in #OsunCaseScenario