The Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, has said that the certificate saga involving the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, is not a personal attack on him but a constitutional requirement by law which must be made known by any person vying for the office.
Moro disclosed this on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja where he X-rayed some of the mechanism being put in place by the ministry to ensure free and fair elections next month.
He said: “We must be mindful of the legitimacy of the election and governance. If for any reason there are question marks from certificate presented by individuals presenting themselves for elections, these are certainly some salient issues that must be addressed before the elections, and I think we must take proper cognisance of this.
“The minimum requirement for some of these elections is just school certificate and so if you don’t possess that certificate, then you know that your credibility is in question and the outcome of the election, in the likely event that you are winning certainly will not be legitimate.”
“I think that we should be concerned about debating this issue, about finding answers to the questions that are right, because if you are talking about a certificate that was obtained in 1961 and questions and issues are raised about that certificate, it is very important, the school still exist, the examining body still exist, and so I don’t think it is any big deal asking any of these agencies to provide a copy of that certificate that was issued in 1961,” the minister stated.
Moro added further that, “when you begin to issue a modern statement of result for examination that took place in 1961, then some questions must be asked. When a day after discussing the whereabouts of the certificate, the same school issues a modern day SSCE headed paper, when we are talking about WASC/ Cambridge examination, certain questions must be asked and answered”
“We are talking of certain result that was issued in favour of one Mohammed and we are talking about Muhammadu here, then certain questions must be answered, when you are talking about certificate issued with the photograph of a 72 year old person, and we are talking about a certificate issued in 1961”
“It is not an issue we must wish away all because another person is involved, even if it is the president of this country that is involved, he must be asked questions and he must proffer answers”
“They are not personal attacks like the certificate we are talking about, it’s a requirement by law, so we must know that who ever is going for the election has it,” Moro stressed.
He added that it was normal to expect hypes during elections, but assured that the anxiety been expressed in some quarters are unwarranted.
Despite the anxiety, Moro noted that government was determined to ensure security of lives and property of citizens before, during and after elections.
The minister emphasised that there was no need for movement by Nigerians away from states where they resides, to their states of origin, due to the fear of violence, stressing that the arrest of foreigner with PVC and interception of ballot boxes are in response to steps that government has taken to ensure security of the electoral materials.
Moro categorically stated that the comments credited to the Bauchi State governor, against the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were out of context because a person cannot attack himself.