Certificate Saga: Hausa Language Was Not Offered in 1961, Says Report

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Despite the release of the school certificate result of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the controversy over the released result has not subsided.

A research report by an educationist and Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Ilorin, A. A. Adeyinka, has punched holes in the claims by Buhari that he sat for and got a credit pass in Hausa Language from the Provincial College (now Government College), Katsina, in 1961.

Adeyinka, in the report titled: “Major Trends in Curriculum Development in Nigeria”, said no school in Nigeria offered subjects in local languages at the time.

His research report had further chipped away the credibility of the Statement of Result released by the college to support Buhari’s claim that he sat for the secondary school certificate examination in 1961.

According to Adeyinka’s research findings available at www.unilorin.edu, prior to the emergence of a centralised government of the regime of General Yakubu Gowon from 1966 to 1975, all regions in Nigeria had different academic curriculums.

He added that it was only the Western Region that offered a local language as a subject in both its curriculum and school certificate examinations.

The university don said it was after a central government was formed and a universal educational curriculum was developed and adopted that other local languages were included in school curriculums in 1974.

He listed subjects in the academic curriculum to include English Language, Biology, Commerce, Principles of Accounts, Health Science, Literature in English, Bible Knowledge, History, Geography, Yoruba, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

According to Adeyinka, Yoruba was included in the academic curriculum following the recommendations of a commission set up to review the academic curriculum for schools in the then Western region.

He wrote: “In the former Western region, for example, both the Banjo Report (1961) and the Taiwo Report (1968) recommended the revision of the school syllabuses and the introduction of a new structure of education.

“The Banjo report specifically recommended a new model for secondary education, comprising junior and senior secondary schools. The curriculum of the former should be comprehensive.

“Similar recommendations were made in the East (Dike 1959, Ivan Ikoku, 1964).”
In the same vein, the Director Media, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, claimed that he came across an e-mail dated Thursday, January 22, 2015 from the institution’s Archives Delivery Service Officer, Jacky Emerson, to one Sodiq Alabi who requested confirmation if the examination body offered Hausa Language in the 1961 West African Certificate Examination it organised.

Emerson, in his one-sentence reply, said: “According to the Regulations for 1961, African Language papers, including those for Hausa, were not included for West African School Certificate.”

He had pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the document at a press conference last Thursday in Abuja.

Among other things, Fani-Kayode pointed out the alteration on Mathematics, which he said Buhari must have failed, adding that since that was the case, he should not have been enlisted in the military as a commissioned officer, having failed to satisfy the requirement of pass at credit level in Mathematics.

He said at best, Buhari should have been enlisted as a non-commissioned officer.
He had also questioned the recent passport photograph of Buhari on the statement of result (which is not a certified true copy) purportedly issued by the Ministry of Education, Katsina State; the “1961” date at the top of the document which conflicted with the “2015” date signed by the Principal of Government College (Pilot) Katsina, whose name was not stated in the document.

Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode has also faulted reports which claimed that the Minister of Defence, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, said Buhari passed his Cambridge/WASCE examination in 1961 and that they attended Katsina College together.

Fani-Kayode, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the report was part of the opposition’s propaganda and desperate bid to cover the wrongdoing of their presidential candidate whose integrity they have so much flaunted.

According to him, “It has been brought to our attention that a number of online publications and newspapers have published a false story suggesting that General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Defence, has defended General Buhari on the certificate issue and has said that they attended Katsina College together.

“This is pure falsehood and crass disinformation, and it is indicative of the type of shameless desperation and propaganda that the opposition are now indulging in.
“Not only did General Gusau not attend any school with General Buhari or go to Katsina College but he has also never sought to defend or absolve him in the on-going controversy about his school certificate.

“We urge the Nigerian people to be very wary of the antics of the opposition when it comes to this and virtually all other matters; and we encourage them to continue to insist that General Buhari should stop clutching at straws and prove that he is the man of integrity that he claims to be by producing his school certificate.”

The Coalition of Concern Lawyers in Nigeria (CCLN) the same day also picked holes in the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate, calling on the Inspector General of Police (IG) to investigate and prosecute those found guilty of perjury.

It equally called on the IG to investigate and prosecute anybody found to have, forged the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).

The group, which said it was not sponsored by any individual or organisation, noted that its hallmarks was credible, free and fair election devoid of any criminality.

It frowned at diverse statements that greeted the authenticity of the certificate, calling for a thorough investigation of the saga.

Dr. Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN), made the call at a press briefing in Abuja.
Saying: “Nigerians have the right to ensure that persons contesting to gorven them are qualified. Where there is an allegation of forgery, the Nigerian Police have the powers on a complaint to investigate, interrogate and prosecute any person found to have committed forgery of a document or committed perjury.

“The Nigerian Police, under Section 214 of the constitution and the Police Act, have the powers and duty to investigate and prosecute such offences.

“We call on the IG to investigate, interrogate and prosecute any person upon a complaint found to have committed perjury or forgery of school certificate.”
Nwaiwu added that having relied on the school certificate, it has to be produced and not only a statement of result.

“We also call on the IG to investigate, interrogate and prosecute upon complaints on persons found to have forged the PVCs

“A fundamental aspect of our constitutional democracy is to create electoral process with credible voters’ register, right to vote and freedom to vote.

“Freedom entails the voters’ right to have the franchise recognised through registration and possession of PVC to cast their vote freely, decide how to vote and expect their ballot  papers to be counted accurately,” Nwaiwu added.

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