Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his obligation like other presidential candidates by presenting his academic certificate rather than bugging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with affidavits.
The opposition party said that a situation where Buhari has been dodging the certificate issue raises huge questions of integrity, which demand that he makes available his credentials, or apologise to Nigerians, if he has none, so that the nation can move ahead.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement Friday in Abuja challenged Buhari to show proof of his ‘vaunted integrity’ by presenting his academic documents, if he has any, to INEC and put to an end his certificate saga.
According to him, “The PDP also urges President Buhari to fulfil his obligation like other Presidential candidates, instead of bugging the commission with affidavits.”
The PDP said while its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has submitted his educational and other relevant documents to INEC, President Buhari is rather seeking ways to short-circuit the system, instead of complying with set rules.
Ologbondiyan noted that Buhari knew that Nigerians were no longer interested in his claims in an affidavit wherein he stated; “I am the above-named person and the deponent of this affidavit herein. All my academic qualification documents as filled in my Presidential form, APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary of the Military Board as of the time of this affidavit.”
The party said that integrity strictly demands that Buhari, particularly as the commander-in-chief, writes to the military authorities directing them to forward his claimed credentials to INEC, as requisite evidence of compliance with a key requirement for election into the Office of the President, under section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Ologbondiyan stated that the fact that : “President Buhari and the previous INEC succeeded in circumventing the law in 2015 does not make such acceptable in our current electoral process.
“Moreover, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) must realise that even their followers, that were beguiled in 2015, are currently not prepared to accept ‘NEPA bill’ as WAEC certificate in the 2019 elections.”
The PDP urged Buhari to do the needful so as not to cause any frictions that would put INEC under further pressure ahead of the 2019 general elections.