Lawyer says Buhari can contest in 2019 with primary six certificate

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari (L) once said his wife Aisha (C), "belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room."

The Lawyer also said that the controversy and arguments over the president’s certificate were far fetched as Buhari meets all legal requirements to contest.

Dr Kayode Ajulo, an Abuja based Legal Luminary and former National Secretary of the Labour Party, says President Muhammadu Buhari is qualified by Law to contest the 2019 presidential election.

The Lawyer, who doubles as the founder of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, an NGO, said that for qualifications for elective position, the Nigerian Constitution recognises primary Six Leaving Certificate and Public/Corporate Service Experience as School Certificate Equivalents.

Ajulo told NAN in Lagos on Sunday that the controversy and arguments over the president’s certificate were far fetched as he meets all legal requirements to contest.

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What the constitution says

“Patently for lack of knowledge of the Constitution, most people do not know what the Constitution provides as equivalents of School Certificates because they are hidden in the Interpretation of the material Section as PART IV, Section 318.

“It states that one does not even require any certificate to be President of Nigeria,” Ajulo said.

He said that the issues of the 2019 elections, whose lives and spaces relied on the constitution to thrive cannot be subjected to pontifications for substance or logic.

“The academic qualifications or suitability of Nigeria’s incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari has been one of the scathing issues that have engulfed the space, particularly the media, wherein the issue has received exponential attention and review.

“In 2015, the same certificate question was raised and was highly controverted. It became a near albatross to the presidential ambition of President Buhari.

“Even now that the president seeks re-election, the ghost of the certificate question that resurrected to hunt itself has continued to generate endless controversies.

“Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has been cited in support of the contention by proponents of that view to support their position.

“The said Section (Section 131) provides: a person shall be qualified for election to the Office of President if- (d) he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.

“Section 177 (d) prescribes that candidates contesting election into the office of State Governor must have been educated up to at least School Certificate Level or its equivalent. By virtue of Sections 142 (2) and 187 (2), the provisions on educational qualification of President and State Governors also apply to the Offices of Vice President and Deputy Governors, respectively.

“Sections 65 (2) (a) and 106 (c) of the Constitution prescribe that candidates contesting elections as National Assembly and State House of Assembly members, respectively, must also have been educated to at least School Certificate Level.”

Breakdown of Section 138 of the constitution

According to Ajulo, in Section 318, “School Certificate or its equivalent” means:(a) a Secondary School Certificate, or Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or (b) education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or (c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and –(i) service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for a minimum of 10 years.

Also (ii) attendance at courses and training in such institutions as may be acceptable to the INEC for periods totalling up to a minimum of one year, and (iii) the ability to read, write, understand and communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of the electoral commission, and

“(d) any other qualification acceptable by INEC. This means INEC has also been empowered by the Constitution to accept any piece of employment paper as School Certificate equivalent to be President of Nigeria.

“The provision of Section 318 (1) was construed by the Court of Appeal in the case of BAYO v. NJIDDA (2004) 8 NWLR (Pt. 876) page 544 at 629H-630D, where Ogbuagu, J.C.A (as he then was) held: the above provisions, are conjunctive and they qualify or mean “school certificate or its equivalent.

ALSO READ: Again, Buhari fails to submit academic documents to INEC

“Therefore, if any one of them is not present/available, then, the candidate is out. Even if (i), (ii), (iii) and (d) are accepable by or satisfactory to INEC and therefore, cannot be questioned in a tribunal as being final, the absence of (c), also disqualifies the candidate,” he said.

Buhari is qualified to run

He noted that while the President may or may not win re-election bid on other grounds, the question of certification and the position of the law on it is that he is qualified.

It is the duty that lawyers must take on to educate the society of the truth,” he added.

He said that the constitution empowers INEC to accept any proof of 10 years previous employment as equivalent of School Certificate from any presidential candidate to contest. 

Source: politics

People politics will rid Nigeria of money politics, says Sen. Bukar Ibrahim

Senator Bukar Ibrahim

Ibrahim, a three-time governor and senator, spoke at the launch of his book, “Poorlitics”, to mark his 70th birthday in Abuja.

Former Governor of Yobe, Sen. Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, on Saturday evening narrated how ordinary people reportedly made him governor for the first time in 1991.

Ibrahim, a three-time governor and senator, spoke at the launch of his book, “Poorlitics”, to mark his 70th birthday in Abuja.

He said he had only N20,000 in his account at the time the people called on him to run for the office.

He said the people’s power made him to defeat his formidable opponents who were “well-resourced with money, thugs, branded vehicles and powerful national godfathers”.

Ibrahim stated that he won the support of the masses with community service and people-oriented politics while he was a civil servant and Commissioner in the old Borno.

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He urged young Nigerians aspiring to take over the country’s leadership to toe the same path to dislodge the current rule of money politics in the country.

“When Ibrahim Babangida introduced politics in 1991, I was innocently supporting my friend to be governor of Borno, when suddenly we heard that Yobe had been created.

“Before I knew it, I was besieged by friends and ordinary people to run for the office of the governor.

“I had only N20,000 in my account, and I did not know how I could campaign with only N20,000, but immediately I announced my intention to run, the people took over.

“Friends appeared everywhere with money and their vehicles; the campaign offices suddenly appeared.

“Ordinary people joined, posters came from everywhere. The people ran that campaign,” he said.

He further recalled that his opponents, who had not witnessed people politics, saw the contest as an easy one since he was just an “inconsequential upstart”.

“They believed money did all the talking. I did not know either.

“It was a sharp learning experience for me also, and the people swept me to power, resisting and sweeping away all attempts to rig me out,” he added.

Ibrahim, who announced his retirement from politics, urged Nigerian youth to rise up and take power the way he did to become governor for the first time at 42 years old.

He advised them against assuming that the elders would voluntarily step aside the way he had chosen to do.

“I have given you the book “Poorlitics” to tell you how I did it and to encourage you to use the force of people politics to dislodge money politics.

“Those of us who are now analogue statesmen can, and must be displaced by those of you who are digital youngsters, and the book Poorlitics, shows you how.

“Go and serve your community with all your heart, and the people will make you their political leader.

“People politics will always defeat money politics any day,” Ibrahim said.

In a presentation, co-author of the book, Dr Sam Egwu, defined ‘poorlitics’ as the politics of the poor; the politics of mass mobilisation.

Egwu said, “It is about practical, project-based and progressive political leadership.

“When done consistently for some years before seeking office, and people are convinced of your sincerity, they will give you money and vote for you repeatedly in elections.

“In ‘poorlitics, the poor make up the majority, and if they are behind you, you need little money and no thugs to defend yourself, your votes and your victory.”

He stated that it was that brand of politics that Bukar Ibrahim and past political heroes like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano, Waziri Ibrahim among others played.

Egwu stated that the book would transform the country’s politics and help young Nigerians to reclaim it from the grip of money bags.

The Chairman of Sheraton Hotel, Mr Goodie Ibru, who sponsored the international online publication of the book, said the youth must take action to actualise their dream of leading the country.

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While noting that young Nigerians had the numerical strength to realise their dream, Ibru urged them to emulate the author by engaging in purposeful grassroots politics.

He stated that ‘Poorlitics’ contained practical steps that young people could take to actualise their ambition.

He commended Ibrahim for sharing his political experience and providing mentorship to the younger generation through the book, urging other leaders to do same.

Source: politics

APC says Ortom is panicking as thousands dump PDP

Ortom: “Herdsmen have concluded plans to kidnap and kill me”

This is contained in a press statement signed by Mr James Ornguga, APC’s acting State Publicity Secretary, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Makurdi.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue said Gov. Samuel Ortom was already panicky following the defection of over 3,000 supporters of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to APC in Guma, his Local Government Area.

This is contained in a press statement signed by Mr James Ornguga, APC’s acting State Publicity Secretary, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Makurdi.

NAN reports that the Ortom administration had earlier accused the Benue APC of staging a political campaign at one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Daudu where they had deceived the IDPs to gather and collect relief materials.

“We understand that the duo of Akume and Jime lied to the displaced persons that they were visiting the camp to give them relief materials, only for the IDPs to discover that it was a campaign rally,” Akase, Ortom’s spokesperson said.

ALSO READ: Tsav, former Benue Speaker, dumps PDP for APC

But the APC in its reaction to the statement said the accusation was “infantile to have emanated from a sitting governor” and described it as not only “shameful but a display of immaturity from a panicky government”.

“We read a comical statement from the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Mr Terver Akase, wherein he alleged that our party had organized the IDPs for distribution of relief materials and ended up tagging same as a “campaign rally”.

“This accusation is too infantile to have emanated from the spokesperson of a sitting governor but since we are used to the many lies of the Ortom administration in close to four years, the APC can at most describe the action as shameful and a display of immaturity from a panicky government.”

According to the statement, Benue APC on Oct. 26 organized a defection ceremony at Daudu, Guma where a former Speaker of the state, Mr Stephen Tsav, and over 3,000 PDP members from Nyiev, Mbagwen and Mbawa defected to APC.

Everyone who witnessed that event would be forced to commiserate with the Benue State Governor since it marked the end of PDP in Guma, his home local government.

“Rather than mourn this gross deflation of the PDP in one of its strongholds in Benue, Governor Samuel Ortom’s image maker has opted to ridicule himself with careless words that clearly expose the governor’s insomnia over this gathering.”

Ornguga in the statement said the APC governorship candidate, Mr Emmanuel Jime, has overtime made serious efforts in finding “national” lasting solutions to the farmers/herders crisis, adding that he had also genuinely supported the IDPs.

“The CPS could not even recall Jime’s superlative visit to IDPs early this year where he donated genuine relief materials to the displaced and not just to hold a mere dance session with them as it has become Gov Ortom’s cosmetic displays.

“Well, a government that cannot ascertain its actual wage bill in four years cannot pay attention to activities of the people it claims to govern.

“Both the APC governorship candidate and Senator Dr George Akume have relentlessly invested genuine efforts in ending this crisis overtime without resorting to media propaganda to curry cheap favours.”

ALSO READ: Benue people not against Fulani – Ortom

The party further challenged the governor to showcase his scorecard, stop blaming past governors for his failures and commission projects if they exist.

“Yes, the APC’s gathering yesterday would not have been complete without a mention of the many failures of the current Benue State Government which by all human parameters is the worst in the history of the state.

“Till today, Benue IDPs are in the worst of conditions despite the huge security vote the state harnesses. We call on the governor and his team not to activate the panic button just yet as more defections will hit his “new-old party” in the weeks ahead,” the statement added. 

Source: politics