THE West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says the examination record of President Muhammadu Buhari has always been with the council, and that it is just that the president had not requested for it officially, until last week.
Sunday Tribune recalls that on Friday, the registrar of the examination body, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, led a delegation from WAEC, including its Head of National Office, Nigeria, to the State House in Abuja to present an attestation of result to the president.
The development received a lot of media attention, and elicited several comments, including from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which has insisted that the president never sat for WAEC’s examination, and that what was delivered in Abuja was a procured political document akin to the Martin Luther King Award presented to the president last year.
However, speaking with Sunday Tribune on telephone on Saturday, the Head of WAEC’s Public Affairs in Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, said the president did write the examination, and that the council has his examination record.
There had been claims too that the 1961 examination in the northern region of Nigeria was conducted by the Cambridge University Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), and not WAEC, therefore questioning the appropriateness of WAEC issuing an attestation for an examination it did not conduct.
To this, Mr Ojijeogu simply asked: “The question implies that when Cambridge finished conducting the exam, they went with the records? There was no handover?”
The WAEC’s spokesman said the current controversy over the president’s examination record would not have arisen if he (Buhari) had applied for it much earlier.
He said: “He (Buhari) didn’t come for it. And it’s only he or the court that can compel us to produce the result.
“We have (President) Buhari’s record with us. He didn’t come for it, till last week that he applied. He has the record with us; it has always been there.
“Had it been at the heat of that election (2015) he had approached WAEC, we would have given attestation or even confirmed that result to INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) then. That would have rested it.”
Ojijeogu also sneered at the claim that a certain group, Move on Nigeria, once contacted the Accra office of WAEC and obtained a letter claiming that Buhari’s record could not be found there.
“How can they find his record in Ghana? How can the examination record of a Nigerian be found in Ghana? And how can a Ghanaian record be found in Nigeria?” He asked.