Buhari must produce his certificate(s) or be impeached

By Editor on 28/10/2018

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It is a shame that Nigeria has returned to the issue of the certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari once again, four years after. Where else, we must ask, does this type of sordid story become a major serving of a menu on a political table outside what used to be the dark ages of democratic evolution, which has now disappeared, substantially, in many parts of a fast changing world? Where, in modern world does a country allow itself roll in the filth of such national disgrace that a President, who is the number one salesman of a country, would so readily dip its image, such as Buhari, has so repeatedly and disdainfully done with this particularly repugnant episode?

In 2014 up to 2015 when this issue was first raging, Buhari got away with the overpowering impression of an underdog, being harangued, suppressed and done-in by the repressive Federal Government under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as President.

By then, both a generous segment of the Nigerian society and the international community, had gobbled and become inebriated with the effusive propaganda of that moment, largely being propelled by the All Progressives Congress (APC), that a corrupt government, which had looted the nation’s commonwealth, was putting every stumbling block on the way of moral cleanser, coming with scouring powder and deodorant to purify the putrid Nigerian system.

Even when the Nigerian military authorities then came out to clearly state that the certificate of General Muhammadu Buhari, as he then was, was not with them, there was still a tint of doubt about their account. Who knows, the government of the day, might have procured them to say so, in order to sustain a desperate PDP government.

So, when he unleashed 13 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to defend the issue, many Nigerians were prepared to let it ride, understandably, to give him a fair chance to contest the election rather than being stopped by the iron hand and subterfuge of the presiding government.

It was against this backdrop that some people, taking it in their strides, said they were prepared to support the then aspirant even if he presented a NEPA bill or bread label.

Today, however, the narrative has changed and the hitherto predominant scenario, is no longer subsisting. Buhari is now the President. He can no longer adduce the image of one being harassed or tormented by an awesome force. He is now on the driving seat, holding the dual position of the nation’s number one job and number one citizen. In other words, he is the most powerful Nigerian today.

There is therefore a reversal of roles. Buhari as President, different from an army General does not only embody the political and economic face of Nigeria, he represents or should represent the moral beacon around which the national decency revolves. Like a compass is to a ship, without which it could drift away into danger, Buhari remains that pointer to the moral direction that must imbue that child in Daura, Katsina, Eket, Akwa Ibom, Ikirun, Osun, Ogboji, Anambra states, with the right attitude critical to their formation as tomorrow’s leaders. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not a matter of choice. It is a matter of duty compelled on him by the office he occupies.

Nigeria holds him strictly to this sacred duty. So, do we, at Whirlwindnews.com. This is not the time to sit on the fence or defer to political correctness. This is the time to speak out and demand for what is right for the sake of posterity.

Unfortunately, many Nigerians have fortuitously continued to dither on the main issue. They fail to see the larger picture, in their attempt to play politics or make the matter look purely political. But it is not. It has nothing to do with the President’s achievement in office, either, or what he could achieve by tomorrow, if returned to power. No, it is about the law of the land and precedent. Nobody is empowered by whatever means to denigrate what we have given ourselves as the grundnorm by any stretch, else our entire essence as a people becomes imperilled. That is the crux of the matter.  

How did we get here? The Electoral Act, deriving from the Nigerian Constitution, requires a person aspiring to be President of Nigeria to fill a form, where some information on personal data are to be provided. One of the provisions, include the educational qualification, which says that the prospective candidate, must be educated up to the West African Examination School Certificate (WASC) or its equivalent.

Note that in that form, is a portion, warning that the said candidate, stands disqualified if any information so provided, proves or is proven to be false. Now, General Buhari, now President Buhari, fills the form and provides the said information, one of which was that he attended secondary school and obtained WASC. He is supposed to attach details of the certificate obtained in that regard to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in charge of conducting the election. But, instead of doing this, he attaches a sworn affidavit, telling the Commission that the said certificate and other documents were with the military authorities.

Now, at this stage, what is required is the photocopy of the document. It is only during the screening that the INEC authority might call for the originals for sighting. Of course, through natural disasters like flood or fire or even loss of document, one might not be able to submit the original of a document. But that is not fatal or the end of the case. There are remedies, for as long as the issuing authorities still exist. In this case both the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which took over and the University of Cambridge examination authority are still in existence. You simply apply to them, whichever one is relevant to the instant case for the Certified True Copy (CTC), or any other document that could serve to authenticate your claim.

But, no! Buhari, would not do this. He prefers to dish out the puerile and untenable story of the certificate being with the military, which, even if it subsisted in 2014-2015, no longer applies now, for the already stated reason(s).   

The danger in not holding the President to account strictly on this matter, is that Nigeria may have a sitting President, who lied on oath, as some people are already insinuating that he does not possess the said certificate. In the first place, what the letters of the law, says is someone who is educated up to WASC or its equivalent. Thus, give or take, the argument that the President, has surpassed this level of education by what he acquired during his military career and is even over-qualified, so to speak, may be valid. However, it was and still is Buhari’s choice to claim that he has WASC. He could have chosen to provide the higher qualifications, or explained that he was exempted from sitting for WASC examination, by higher authority, which could have sufficed. But he did not.

Therefore, to the extent that he made that claim, every other argument to the contrary, regarding why he should not produce same, including painting the streets of Nigeria with gold or transforming it into a wonderland, go into no issue. Since he has made that claim, he must prove it. Simpliciata!

Cases abound, where universities refused to award degrees to students on graduation on the ground of forged or inadequate entry certificates or even withdrawing same on discovery of such abnormalities, years after, regardless of whether the victims had First Class or were the best graduating students. It is a matter of principle.

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Mundane as it may appear, Buhari producing his WASC or any other certificate(s), he claims to have, is as critical as then President Barak Obama presenting his birth certificate, when he was challenged by incumbent, Donal Trump about his birth records. Obama, did not go to court. He never pandered to the sentiment that he was being persecuted because he was black. He did not even flaunt the argument of how well the American economy was doing under him. He simply presented the certificate and the nation moved on.

In the same America, President Bill Clinton, was impeached on December 19, 1998, by the House of Representatives, not because of his indiscretion of desecrating the oval office by mating with Monica Lewinsky there, it was that he lied on oath during the investigations by his now infamous statement that “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.” That was considered graver than having sex in his office.

In the same manner, Buhari’s claim must go through the fine comb of official scrutiny to ascertain its veracity. If it is discovered that it is false, there is no remedy outside the law of the land, which is his immediate impeachment and prosecution. This is a task the National Assembly must now undertake as a collective in the interest of the nation.

The political parties must not sit idly by and watch. They must not allow themselves be blackmailed into inaction, by the idea of political correctness. It is good that the PDP, has already challenged the President on this score. But, calling him out, on purely the moral aspect is not enough. They must push further and even seek judicial solution, if necessary. Nothing is too big a sacrifice, no road too risky to travel to ensure that the Nigerian Constitution is protected. That in itself, proves that seeking political power is not its only objective. The power politicians and political parties should seek, must be the power to do good and destroy impunity in the land. 

It is also not enough for INEC to ask that aggrieved Nigerians on this matter should go to court, or for the overriding essence to be subsumed in the usual official silence, where the massive discontent of Nigerians, have, at best, been scornfully and aloofly dismissed as the trumpeting of crickets.     

Buhari is not bigger than Nigeria. Nobody is.



Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on October, 28 2018

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