At formation in 2014 when the party nominated a presidential candidate, the APC chose a Muhammadu Buhari who claimed to have left his certificates with the military. But in the run up to the elections in 2015, the military denied being in possession of the President’s credentials, adding that there was no record of any verifications done on the original copies of Buhari’s credentials when he joined the army in the early 1960s.
However, despite the military coming out openly to deny being in possession of his original certificates in 2015, President Buhari, while seeking a second term in 2019, again said in an affidavit that he couldn’t submit his credentials to INEC because they were with the military. Till date, a heavy dose of controversy still surround Buhari’s WAEC certificate.
Fast forward to 2023, the APC had presidential aspirants with proven academic credentials. There was a Professor of Law, and there were Ph.D holders. But in keeping with its shameful tradition of picking only candidates with uncertain educational history, the APC again settled for Bola Tinubu who, since 1999, has been battling with issues pertaining to his questionable academic certificate. As I write, a Federal High Court in Abuja just fixed October 12 for hearing in a suit seeking his disqualification from standing election as the party’s presidential candidate in 2023 based on alleged certificate forgery.
Back home in Kwara, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was going to break the jinx of what is becoming its trademark of favoring individuals with questionable educational background, when it almost made the erudite Professor of English, Oba Abdulraheem its governorship flag bearer in 2019. But suddenly, like a cursed child who is unable to redeem himself, the APC suddenly ditched the idea and instead handed the ticket to Abdulrahman Abdulrazak who, like Buhari and Tinubu, is still unable to conclusively prove that he had a WAEC certificate.
What is more, Governor Abdulrazak himself, being unable to cope with having educated people around him, ensured the displacement of the Senator from his senatorial district, a Medical Doctor. As replacement, he brought someone who like himself had minimal education, a questionable part time National Diploma (ND). For God sake, if it is not a case of ‘bird of the same feather flocking together,’ how on earth would anyone who wants the best for his people ditched a Dr. Yahaya Oloriegbe, a cerebral lawmaker, a medical doctor of many years, a WHO consultant, a community leader in his own right, who has done so much within just a little over three years as a first time Senator; only to pick a Saliu Mustapha who is still battling to resolve the issue of his dubious OND certificate (Pass) from Kaduna Polytechnic. But that is the way of the APC!
Anyone would wonder why most of these people could not find job in any professional capacity because of their little or no education, for there is hardly any self-respecting organization or individual that will employ anyone who has a questionable school certificate or an OND pass in any employment. Therefore, the only way they can function is as government contractors and political jobbers. Unfortunately, these individuals who think little of education have continuously found their ways into leadership positions under the APC using their dubious certificates, a situation that would hardly augur well for the country in the long run.
It is difficult to know what in particular the ruling party has against education or educated people. And with many of them attaining leadership positions with questionable academic credentials, it is becoming increasingly difficult to speak about integrity and how education is a basic requirement for leadership. But these individuals have proven that education is important because we have seen where their lack of education has landed us as a nation and as State.
If this current practice by the APC of putting people who cannot even sufficiently defend their own certificates is allowed to continue, we would soon find it difficult to tell young people of today that education remains a pathway to success in life. After all, they would have seen how leadership at almost every level has fallen into the hands of barely educated people and individuals with unproven academic certificates, whose party keep forcing the idea that education does not matter with their undisguised hatred for education and educated people.