By Ehi Ekhator
Numerous Nigerians anticipated the presence of Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Channels TV on Sunday evening as he was relied upon to clear the questionable certificate presentation that has generated responses across the nation.
On November 2, the Registrar of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Uyi Uwadiae presented an attestation and confirmation of result to the Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja following the controversy surrounding his inability to produce his school certificate, which is one of the requirements to vie for the number 1 position in the country.
Adesina took to his twitter handle after the presentation to lambaste his principal’s critics, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“WAEC presents attestation certificate and confirmation of school cert result to President Buhari. What will the naysayers say next?” Adesina twitted.
IN 2015, the President had claimed that his certificate was with the military board, a statement that also attracted nationwide discussion.
Scarcely 24 hours after the attestation was presented, the Presidency and the WAEC differ on the explanation behind the issuance of the result. While the examination body said the record was issued on the grounds that the President applied for it, the Presidency insisted that Buhari didn’t have any significant bearing for the action of the West African School Certificate Examination which he professed to have sat for in 1961.
WAEC’s spokesman, Damianus Ojijeogu said “We would not have given him the document if he didn’t apply. It is only Buhari or a court that can ask for the results. There is no other person. So he asked for it.”
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu responded that WAEC read about the controversy of the certificate and decided to issue an attestation to save the situation.
The Presidency said “No, the President did not apply for the documents. I made this clear in an opinion I wrote on Friday.
“The presentation of the documents to the President was strictly an initiative of WAEC.
“They said they read about the controversy on the pages of newspapers and saw the need to save the integrity of the council.”
However, the more both the WAEC and the Presidency do damage control, the more angry Nigerians pick holes in the certificate that was released, whether applied for or not.
Adesina was on Sunday invited by Channels TV to clear the air on one of the dominating topics of the recent times, however, the President spokesman danced around the question without actually answering.
When asked how he would react to the critics of the President who believed the attestation received was different from the one presented in 2015, Adesina said “I am glad you called them critic, you know, critics will always try to poke holes in things, if there is nothing to criticize, they will create it. Some people are so contentious that if they find nobody to contend with, they will begin to contend with themselves. Some people will not just be satisfied with themselves.
“For us in the Presidency, it is neither here nor there that some people are criticizing because for us, it is an issue that was dead, and even now, it is still as dead as a done deal. For those who believe, no evidence is needed, and for those who don’t believe, you can’t convince them, therefore, if, in 2015, about 50 million people believe in the President that voted for him despite the concocted crisis about a certificate or no certificate, how much more in 2019? A lot more will still express confidence.”
PDP had described the scene as a national embarrassment, but Adesina called it “superfluity of nothingness, absolutely superfluous, nothing to it, storm in a tickle and it is coming from a party that has run out of ideas. It has nothing to offer Nigerians, and if they don’t hang whatever they are saying around the President, they have nothing to say, so whatever they are saying is superfluous.”
Despite the push by the Presenter to get Adesina to speak on the authentication of the Attestation presented, the cat got the spokesman’s tongue as he beats around the bush. He had a knock-off smile that seems to give a tell of submission.
When the year WAEC was established with the year Buhari allegedly graduated (1961) was raised, the presidential spokesman insisted that the topic of the certificate was dead.
“For us, the issue is dead and we will not contend with anybody on it because, in the first place, there was no issue even in 2015. For anybody that was deserving and for somebody that was not cavilling, standing forth unnecessarily, there was no issue, and still, now, the issue is dead so anybody that wants to continue to beat a dead us is welcome. “
The authenticity of the Attestation of result continues to generate reactions among Nigerians. The newest of the poking is that the Certificate presented to President Buhari has no Original Certificate Number, the key authentication feature in all genuine attestations by WAEC, instead, a “non-applicable” is entered, indicating that the beneficiary (Buhari) does not have a certificate to be attested to, thus rendering the said attestation unauthenticated, fake and of no effect.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari who received the attestation and confirmation of result has yet to comment on the issue. He had only claimed that his certificate was with the military board and the only PResidential candidate ahead of the 2019 general election who submitted an affidavit to the Independent National Electoral Commission, in place of credentials required.