The failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to attach his credentials to the forms he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission to enable his seek reelection next year on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in 2019 has generated another round of interest in the issue.
In January 2015, the Nigerian Army spoke on the issue of the controversial certificate.
The position of Service was made known by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, who was retired after the assumption of office by Buhari.
Laleye said the Army does not have the original or Certified True Copy of President Buhari’s West African Examination Council certificate.
He equally said there was no statement of result in his file.
Laleye’s statement to the press on January 20, 2015, reads in full: “I will begin with the Major General Muhammadu Buhari certificate controversy. Gentlemen, let me state clearly that the Nigerian Army holds the retired senior officer in very high esteem and respect and would not be a party to any controversy surrounding his eligibility for any political office. Suffice to state that Major General Buhari rose steadily to the enviable rank of Major General before becoming the Head of State of our dear country in December 1983.
“The media hype on retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s credentials as well as the numerous requests made by individuals and corporate bodies to the Nigerian Army on this issue have necessitated that we provide the facts as contained in the retired senior officer’s service record. Records available indicate that Major General M. Buhari applied to join the military as a Form Six student of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina on October 18, 1961.
“His application was duly endorsed by the Principal of the school, who also wrote a report on him and recommended him to be suitable for military commission. It is a practice in the Nigerian Army that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of the Service, the Selection Board verifies the original copies of credentials that are presented. However, there is no available record to show that this process was followed in the 1960s.
“Nevertheless, the entry made on the NA Form 199A at the point of documentation after commission as an officer indicated that the former Head of State obtained the West African School Certificate in 1961 with credits in relevant subjects: English Language, Geography, History, Health Science, Hausa and a pass in English Literature. However, neither the original copy, Certified True Copy nor statement of result of Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s WASC result is in his personal file.
“I hope this explanation will put to rest the raging controversy surrounding the secondary school credentials of Major General Mohammed Buhari as it affects the Nigerian Army.”