The statement of the Director of Strategic Communications of President Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has set the social media on fire.
Keyamo was quoted as saying that an aspirant for the position of a governor or president doesn’t need a WAEC certificate.
Mr Keyamo stated this on his Twitter handle @fkeyamo on Monday:
“There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of president. In fact, 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 statement ignited controversy because of what many people call similarity between the case of President Muhammadu Buhari and the governorship candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State Senator Ademola Adeleke.
While the opposition party said Buhari didn’t have WAEC certificate, it was alleged that WAEC certificate presented by Adeleke was fake. Adeleke won the suit challenging his WAEC certificate at the Appeal Court.
Do you need a WAEC certificate to become the president or governor?
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria believes that the 1999 constitution has clearly defined what school school certificate is.
Keyamo said no, he rather referred to a section of the 1999 Nigerian constitution:
“Yes. 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. No WAEC certificate is needed.
“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. #OsunStateScenario.”
He added 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 of it. Case closed.
“In Osun case scenario, 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 and forge one in a bid to be governor or president.
You can still be qualified, regardless. That’s the mistake made in Osun case scenario,”
Yes. 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. No WAEC certificate is needed https://t.co/kUMUCZbF5i
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) April 14, 2019
One of the Facebook users Olumuji Olaoluwa Oluseyi who reacted says, “So basically, an illiterate can rule Nigeria according to Festus Keyamo? No wonder nothing is working in this country. Imagine this kind of foolish and moronic statement. Sometimes,I wonder how people like Keyamo became a lawyer. Is it because the Nigerian system is broken? No wonder Nigeria is a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
See other reactions below:
“Senator Ademola Adeleke should be welcome to the government house in Osun since certificate is useless in Nigeria… And then why do I need to acquire several academic qualifications before I can work in Central Bank, thank God, I have my SSCE intact, I should be welcome to either NNPC or CBN now” Adedayo Abisoye Idowu
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. #OsunStateScenario
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) April 15, 2019
“How this man became a SAN is absolutely beyond my imagination, he’s stomach infrastructure SAN!” Abi King
“You can’t question God. He created this man a Farmer but out of his stubbornness, he went and read law. Now we are seeing the effect of doubting God.” Odumegwu Best Chinonso
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
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) April 15, 2019
“Not your fault, our constitution was drafted by the military and we are yet to define if actually, we are on democracy or military regime.” Mark Oshiozokha Oboh
Olalekan Adekunle says, “Let him go and change the constitution and come back to tell us that WAEC is not needed.”