By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the public demonstrations that the Presidency may have procured a forged West African Examination Council (WAEC) Certificate Attestation and Confirmation for President Muhammadu Buhari has turned the country into a laughing stock in the West African sub-region and the entire global community.
The main opposition party said it is appalling that the president’s handlers have succeeded in dragging a reputable institution as WAEC into public disrepute and opprobrium.
The party, in a statement Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that Nigerians are quick to demonstrate marks of forgery in the attestation issued by the examination body.
According to him, “The development has turned our nation into a laughing stock in the West African sub-region and the entire global community, as our president is now being mentioned as beneficiary of a duplicitous act.”
Ologbondiyan noted that a check on the attestation clearly shows that it does not have the ‘Original Certificate Number’, the key authentication feature in all genuine attestations by WAEC.
He stated: “Instead, a non-applicable is entered, indicating that the beneficiary does not have a certificate to be attested to, thus rendering the said attestation unauthenticated, fake and of no effect.
“Also, the attestation is for West African Senior School Certificate, which President Buhari couldn’t have sat for, given that the Senior School Certificate Examination was established only in the late 1980s.
“Does it not smack of high level scam that the same WAEC, which, in 2015, confirmed that it does not have records of President Buhari’s certificate, now had to send officials to present Mr. President with an attestation, that has no original certificate number?”
The opposition party said what the unauthenticated attestation has shown is that Buhari does not have a WAEC certificate, adding: “We urge his handlers to humbly so admit and apologise to the nation, having exhausted all gimmicks to mislead Nigerians.”
The PDP added that by WAEC rules, attestations are only issued in the case of missing or destroyed certificate.
Ologbondiyan queried: “Why then should the exam body issue an attestation to President Buhari, whose certificate, he claimed are with the military and not missing or destroyed?
“If not intended to circumvent the system and deceive Nigerians, why did President Buhari’s handlers choose to write to WAEC to issue an attestation when he, as the Commander-in-Chief, has the powers to direct the military to make available his credentials for all to see.
“The Buhari Presidency should know that there is no way the truth can be suppressed. In fact, the current disagreement between the Presidency and WAEC over who initiated the attestation deal is also very revealing. “
The PDP urged WAEC to redeem its image by handing over all its officials involved in the deal to the INTERPOL for investigation and prosecution, while also calling on the Nigeria Police to immediately invite Mr. President’s handlers for questioning over this huge national embarrassment.