. APC chair should tell us varsity he attended – Edo gov
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has directed the APC screening committee for the forthcoming governorship primaries in Edo State to confirm the authenticity of the University of Ibadan first degree certificate presented by Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Oshiomhole gave this directive, on Tuesday, in Abuja while inaugurating the APC’s screening and appeal committees for its members contesting governorship primary in Edo State.
The APC chairman expressed doubt over the authenticity of Obaseki’s UI certificate.
But in a swift reaction, Obaseki’s spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, challenged Oshiomhole to go and confirm the authenticity of the governor’s certificate in UI, adding that the APC national chairman should tell Nigerians the university he attended.
Obaseki and his predecessor have been at loggerheads since last year over the control of the party machinery in the state as efforts to reconcile them had failed.
Expressing doubts about Obaseki’s UI certificate, the APC chairman on Tuesday directed the screening committee to confirm its authenticity from the UI authorities.
He said, “Someone should approach the UI and end this matter once and for all. If the certificate Obaseki parades is that of the UI, find out how did he pass senate screening of those days? I’m aware that in those days when this man never dreamt of becoming a governor, every student, no matter your status or your family name, must pass screening.
“It is done every third term at the UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka), then we ran terminal not semester programme. The final screening was in the third year, before you go in for your final year.
“How comes the UI allowed him then. Did he do a remedial? which was not unlikely. These are questions. Many came in especially in education and linguistics, did remedial for one year and if the result was good, gained direct entry and graduated three years after.’’
Oshiomhole stated that the APC had learnt bitter lessons and would not want to fall into the same trap that cost it Bayelsa State, when after winning the governorship election, it lost at the Supreme Court on account of the submission of a questionable academic credential by the deputy governorship candidate.
The APC national chairman tasked members of the two committees to ensure that they conducted due diligence on all claims contained in the documents submitted by Obaseki and the five other aspirants seeking to contest the party’s primary.
He said, “The screening is not a formality and we expect you to be very meticulous in every material in particular to protect our party so that it would not be said that we did not learn anything from Bayelsa. As you know sometimes when things go wrong, everybody sees it that NWC did not do a thorough job. So, people personalized it. They say, ‘If the chairman is thorough, if he has done his job this will not happen but that is the price for leadership.”
He urged the screening committee to interact with all the governorship aspirants, adding that anyone not satisfied with the screening committee’s recommendations would file an appeal, which would be forwarded to the appeal committee.
He, however, said that the party’s NWC could reject the screening committee’s result, adding, “The NWC can reject the screening result. Screening committee is high court. The appeal committee is the Appeal Court and the NWC, the Supreme Court.”
Members screening committee include Prof Jonathan Ayuba (Chairman), Prof Agbo Madaki, Ibrahim Zailani, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed “Binani, Dr Jane- Frances Agbu, Fort Dike while Dr Rabe Nasir will serve as secretary.
The appeal committee has Dr Abubakar Fari as Chairman, and Daniel Bwala as Secretary. Other members of the committee are Prof. Sadeeque Abba, Gbenga Olubajo, Mohammed Idris and Esther Bepeh.
The six aspirants, who have bought, completed and submitted the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms are Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki, Dr. Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Osaro Odubu and Mathew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen.
But in his reply to Oshiomhole’s claims on Obaseki’s certificate, the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Osagie, said, “The University of Ibadan is perhaps the most reputable university in Africa. The University of Ibadan awarded a BA degree in Classical Studies to his Excellency, the governor, as far back as 1979. The university is still there. If anybody feels the certificate is not credible, why doesn’t the person go there to verify?
“Why are we just seeing this only in the media? Bear in mind that the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, was among an elite corps of illustrious alumni of the university people to deliver a national alumni lecture in August 2018. Do you think such an institution will call someone who is not an alumnus to deliver such a lecture?”
He, however, challenged Oshiomhole to disclose the university he attended, saying that the APC national chairman’s allegations were baseless.
“We have said before, these allegations are baseless and come to think of it, which university did (Adams) Oshiomhole attend to know what the admission process is like? The responsibility of setting guidelines for admission into a university rests on the Senate of the institution. The lecturers who taught the governors are still alive and the institution is still there,” he said.
Obaseki also reacted to Oshiomhole’s claims that the NWC would have a final say on Obaseki and others on the certificates and other issues.
His spokesman said, “Our reaction is simple. We are not like Oshiomhole who is the judge and executioner. We believe in the prevalence of the rule of law. For us, that is more important than what one individual says.
“As we have always said, Oshiomhole has not hidden the fact that he has an ‘axe to grind’ with Governor Obaseki, but our hope is in the fact that our party is a law-abiding party. Our party is one that abides by its constitution and we believe that the constitution does not put all the powers in the hands of one man. On the strength of that, we know we are going to prevail.”