The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, on Saturday, January 31, 2015 have reiterated that the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari must come out to clear the air on the issue of his credentials, warning that the former Head of State should not take Nigerians for granted.
Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the party made the call in an interview with Punch in Abuja.
He said: “Gen. Buhari must tell Nigerians in clear terms where his certificates are. He should stop taking Nigerians for a ride. We demand he clears the air on this before the day of the election, because you cant give the people what you don’t have.”
On his part, Dr. Okupe debunked claims by the principal of Government College Katsina, Isyaku Bello, that the certificate made public and signed by him were genuine.
He said: “It is inconceivable that allegations as weighty as forgery and perjury will be made against the person of a retired General and a former Head of State without him deeming it necessary to conclusively debunk such allegations but would rather pass the buck to other persons or organisations.
“We consider this as an unstatesmanlike assault on the intelligence of Nigerians and it represents the greatest challenge between Gen Buhari and the office he seeks to occupy.”
Okupe also recanted that General Buhari has so far said his certificate was in three different places – the Military Board, his former secondary school and now the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He further poured cold water on the factors on which the APC based their campaign – incorruptibility and integrity.
His words: “While the report of the Haroun Adamu committee on the mismanagement of a sum of N25bn at the PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund) has completely wiped off the vaunted incorruptibility, the General’s integrity credential is being threatened by this odious certificate issue.
“It has therefore become imperative for him to quickly put an end to this unnecessary and inexplicable certificate controversies; otherwise the only remaining leg on which he is supposedly standing may be fatally destroyed.”
Okupe therefore challenged the APC and general Buhari “who mouth corruption everywhere should clear the air on this matter or forever bury their heads in shame.”
He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, concerning the 2015 elections, Nigerians will not elect into its highest office a man who cannot satisfy the minutest test of honesty and integrity in his academic credential.”