Thursday, August 11, 2022
Bayelsa Scandal: Nigeria Politicians And Certificate Forgery. Politics and Governance with Lekan Shobowale

Bayelsa Scandal: Nigeria Politicians And Certificate Forgery.

The Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun’s NYSC certificate scandal generated a lot of controversies in the media. Adeosun claimed she applied for an exemption and was issued an exemption certificate and NYSC attested to the fact that she did apply for an exemption but said nothing as to whether it was granted or not.

The Kogi born Senator, is well known for either creating or being involved in major political controversies. He was involved in various certificates scandals in 2017 including his claim to have obtained an unverified Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from Ahmadu Bello University and a degree from the Boston-based Ivy League Harvard University in the United States. He, however, debunked the claims
and said not only did he graduate legitimately from ABU Zaria, but also, he has successfully earned seven degrees from various other institutions around the world, among them are Harvard’s University, Kennedy School for Educational Leadership and London School of Economics and Political Science; a claim that was since refuted by both institutions.

In 1999, a petition was written against Tinubu that he did not attend Chicago State University as indicated in his INEC form when he contested the Lagos State governorship poll and that he also lied in the affidavit he attached to the INEC form, in which he declared that he lost his university degree certificate while he was in exile between 1994 and 1998. It was also alleged that Tinubu’s claim of attending Government College, Ibadan, was false, that he was born in 1952 as against 1954 in his documents and did not participate in the compulsory one-year NYSC scheme.

Ex-Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose also had his own fair share of certificate scandals owing to the 2013 certificate scandal that he was involved in while contesting as the governor of Ekiti State. Fayose had claimed that he attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan and bagged a Higher National Diploma certificate but the institution issued a disclaimer that he was never a student of the polytechnic and that the certificate he claimed to be his actually belonged to a different person. A lot of people asked for his prosecution after this reveal. However, the state polytechnic retracted their words, admitting that Fayose was indeed a graduate of the school and he eventually won the election in October 2014.

During his campaign for president in 2015, Buhari was involved in a no-certificate scandal that almost disqualified him from running for president. The allegation was denied and his campaign coordinators provided evidence that not only was he qualified to run, he had a far higher academic qualification than is required by the constitution. However, Nigerians were still in doubt as to how true his “over qualification” was as he hired 13 Senior Advocates of Nigeria to defend him in a case brought to compel him to provide certificate or proof that he has one, where he could have just provided them on request.

These are just few examples of many forgery and certificate scandals that had rocked the political scene since the commencement of this recent republic.

Erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives , Salisu Buhari’s way to the lower chamber of the National Assembly was fraught with forgeries . To become a federal lawmaker , he claimed he was 36 years old as of 1999, though he was born in 1970 .The minimum required age to be a lawmaker in the House, according to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, is 30 .

He also claimed to have attended University of Toronto in Canada and graduated with a degree in Business Administration, but the university denied he was ever a student of the institution .

And for falsifying his credentials to gain admission into Ahmadu Bello University , Zaria, Kaduna State , he was kicked out and never had the opportunity to participate in the one- year National Youth Service Corps exercise.

In 2000 , the lid was fully blown open and the defiant Buhari broke down in tears of confession before the nation, owning up to allegations of forgery and perjury .

Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Governor the people of Osun state wanted but the APC blocked, also obviously has issues with his academic qualifications. They say the man did not have a School Certificate. WAEC confirmed he had one. Then the Police accused him of having sat for the 2017 National Examination
Council Examination (NECO) via a proxy. What we remember though is that he allegedly had an F9 in the School Certificate Examination. He didn’t deny that and yet he wanted to be Governor!

In Nigeria we promote the worst of the pack in a country where there are more than enough people with credible qualifications. We don’t’ recognize such people. Instead we send to the international community, people who could not pass School certificate, the equivalent of the IGSCE in the United Kingdom, school drop-outs who have no clue about important governance issues – these are the ones we send out to go engage better educated and more enlightened persons.

These stories, either from the APC or PDP or any other side do not help Nigeria’s image. I imagine that if any Nigerian were to go anywhere in the world today, and present the best, most impressive credentials, the relevant authorities would still go behind to double-check. Many of our students today who go abroad for additional educational opportunities are routinely asked to take extra tests that candidates from other countries are not required to take. When the rest of the world hears that Nigerian political leaders, the same persons who are supposed to take serious decisions about national, bilateral and multilateral relations are a bunch of semi-illiterates, draft dodgers, and uneducated semi- illiterates, they are bound to look at the rest of us as imbeciles.

One really don’t understand what is going on. What is the meaning of this certificate problem in a country where there are people who can put every needed certificate on the table and yet they are the ones who are unemployed and the one who have issues are the ones running government? The relevant security agencies continue to disappoint the country and a lot of political crises are generated in part because the security agencies are politically compromised.

The sacked Bayelsa deputy governor elect submitted educational certificates
with different names to INEC. This led a Federal high court to disqualify
Biobarakuma from contesting the elections in November 2019.

However, an Appeal Court allowed his qualification in December 2019, permitting him to contest the Bayelsa elections as Lyon’s running mate. But maybe they shouldn’t have, because the Supreme Court finally decided that he wasn’t qualified to be deputy governor on February 13th, 2020. What an effort in futility, not only that, he thwarted the beautiful dream of a fine gentleman governor elect, David Lyon.

For some of these political office holders with fake credentials, immediately they assumed office, their first casualties are always civil servants as they contract their Lagos and Abuja big consultant to run after government workers for no reason, when they are also full of forgeries.

For, the forgery of school certificates is a form of corruption. Certificate scandal is the worst form of corruption. Right now, our political representatives are no longer respected abroad Who wants to talk to a diplomat whose basic education is uncertain?

I just hoped Nigerian politicians imbibed the spirit of truth and do what is expected of them and put a stop to all these sad development.

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