Opposition political parties under the aegis of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) have described as suspicious the Friday’s presentation of the attestation of result to President Muhammadu Buhari by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The CUPP, which comprises about 42 political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party and the African Democratic Congress, alleged that there were indications that the result was hurriedly released to stall the commencement of the suit seeking to disqualify the President from contesting the 2019 presidential election.
The CUPP described the action as “laughable, unbelievable and a desperate effort to mislead the court and shield the President from disqualification from participating in the election.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the CUPP called on WAEC to produce the official ledger and booklet containing the scores and records of names of students of the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina, now called Government Secondary School, Katsina.
The booklet, he said, must contain the names of those that sat the exam in 1961 and not a “manufactured result which is not backed with any evidence to show President Buhari participated in the 1961 exams.”
The CUPP spokesperson alleged that WAEC succumbed to what he called “high level pressure to issue the document” which he said was aimed at misleading Nigerians and the court to believe that Buhari sat the WASSCE.
The coalition added, “Let Nigerians be reminded that few days ago, the opposition raised the alarm that there was ongoing move to tamper with the records of WAEC and pressure the leadership into manufacturing a result for President Buhari.
“Today’s (Friday) action of WAEC has vindicated our earlier fears and confirmed our stand that WAEC is now competing with Oluwole Market in manufacturing documents.
“WAEC should either present the original 1961 ledger and booklet containing the names of the 1961 candidates who sat the exam from the school in Kastina to back up their confirmation of result issued to President Buhari or apologise to Nigerians for attempting to mislead them with the booklet and destroy the credibility of the once-respected examination body.”
Ugochinyere noted that no amount of desperation could change the mind of Nigerian voters from voting out the “incompetent regime of President Buhari that has destroyed the Nigerian economy, divided our people and made our nation insecure.”
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, had in a statement on Friday said the attestation of results was presented to the President during a courtesy visit by a delegation of WAEC led by its Registrar, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae.
He said the registrar was accompanied by the Head, National Office, WAEC, Mr. Olutise Adenipekun; the council’s Head of Public Affairs, Abiodun Aduloju; and the council’s Zonal Coordinator, Abuja, Olufemi Oke.
The President had come under heavy criticism when he once again submitted affidavit to the Independent National Electoral Commission in place of his credentials, stating that his credentials were with the military.
A WAEC spokesperson, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu, had, however said the President could apply for a certificate if he wished
“Yes, he can apply. We have had instances of people who lost their certificates, some were attacked on the road by armed robbers and they lost their certificates in the process and some lost theirs to fire incident.
“If it’s the transcript, which is the confirmation of results, that he wants, he can also apply for it; we would send it to any institution or agency that he wants us to”, he added.
He further explained that in the case of the President, who took the school examination as a pupil of Provincial Secondary School, now Government College, Katsina, the President could apply directly to WAEC or through the principal of the school.
Ojijeogu said, “If anybody sits our exam, and from what I have deciphered, his (Buhari) was a school examination, every candidate that sat the examination that year has his or her certificate printed and sent to school to be given to the candidates.”
He also pointed out that while a candidate could collect the attestation in person, the transcript would be sent to the agency or institution that needs it.
“We have a record of all the certificates that we have issued since WAEC was founded. If by any chance the certificate is burnt or lost, such a person can apply for their result and we will issue an attestation of result,” Ojijeogu stated.
When later asked why the President’s attestation of result bore his picture, he explained that this was the normal practice as the body was issuing the document afresh.
The opposition parties had challenged the President to produce his results, saying Buhari had something to hide for insisting that his certificates were with the military when he could have applied for attestation or confirmation of his results since 2003 when he started contesting for the office of the president.