By Nwafor Sunday
The director strategic communications of President Muhammadu Buhari, 2019 presidential campaign, (Official spokesperson), Festus Keyamo, SAN, Monday said that one does not need a WAEC certificate to become President in Nigeria.
Reeling out his reasons for saying so, Festus said that Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution defines “School Certificate or its equivalent” to mean primary 6 School Leaving Certificate plus the ability to just speak, write, understand and communicate in English language to the satisfaction of INEC. And No WAEC certificate is needed.
Festus equally moved forward to give other levels of qualifications to run for the office of President. According to him, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria.
His words, “By the definition of “School Certificate or its equivalent” in section 318 of the 1999 constitution, you 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.
“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 of it. Case closed. In #OsunCaseScenario WAEC has denied the authenticity. See the difference?
“Let me end my free lecture series by saying that the crux of the matter is that if you don’t have a WAEC certificate, there’s no need to go ahead & forge one in a bid to be Governor or President. You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in #OsunCaseScenario.
“It becomes extremely foolish for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to come and challenge the body that has the statutory power to issue certificates.”