There has been much speculation as to the authenticity of President Buhari’s WAEC attestation of results. In 2015, when the whereabouts of his WAEC certificate was brought into question, President Buhari had replied that all his academic qualifications had been listed in his presidential form. During the lead-up to the 2019 election when the matter arose again, the president decided to do a photo-op with officials from the WAEC presenting him with his attestation of results.
However, many Nigerians were quick to dismiss it as they believed that attestation held many discrepancies that was not in line with the statement of results showing 2016. For example, in the statement of results, it was revealed that the president had received ‘F9’ in Mathematics and Woodwork in the exam that he sat for in 1961. However, in the attestation that was presented to the president, these scores were conveniently left out. This led to WAEC clarifying these discrepancies in a series of tweets where they wrote:
“Let’s educate ourselves a bit: 1. President Buhari was given Attestation of results not a certificate; 2. Attestation of Results is given to a candidate whose certificate it damaged or missing; 3. It carries the passport photo of the candidate submitted during application; 4 Subjects that a candidate had F9s are no longer captured in certificates or Attestation of results; 5. WAEC in the five member countries do not issue a certificate twice; 6. WAEC was established on March 16, 1952.”
Regardless of the controversy that surrounded the President’s results, he went on to win the 2019 Presidential election. However, today, Festus Keyamo (SAN), a reputable lawyer in the country, in a series of tweets, explained that a WAEC certificate is not needed to qualify as a presidential candidate. He wrote:
“Section 318 of the 1999 constitution defined “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to 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 const, u 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.”
He went on to explain that “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 to it. Case closed. In #OsunCaseScenario WAEC has denied authenticity. See d difference? Let me end my free lecture by saying that the crux of the matter is that if you don’t have WAEC certificate, there’s no need to go ahead and forge one a bid to be Governor or President. You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in #OsunCaseScenario.
Now, this has caused discourse on social media with many giving their different opinions to the point where WAEC is now trending on twitter. Some of the tweets on the matter are:
If Festus Keyamo says you do not need waec certificate to become president or governor, that means you can be a governor or president without going through NYSC. So why exactly are we mandated to graduate and do NYSC when you do not need it to become the first citizen? JustAsking
— The King Maker (@thelagosbiggirl) April 15, 2019
“That’s where the problem of this country starts from (#ourconstitution) How will an individual occupy a public office without WAEC in the first place, that means the person is not educated. So, that’s why the political class doesn’t have any plan to develop our education.” – @AdeoluAdisa
When Buhari hires 13 SANS to defend his WAEC certificate, I knew he didn’t sit for the exam.
— Somto Onuchukwu (@chosensomto) April 15, 2019
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Now that WAEC isn’t even needed to contest for any post in my country.
it’s safe to say the ones in schools are not the leaders of tomorrow.
— Sir Bobo (@mrboboskie) April 15, 2019