Critical Times News : Certificate is not enough reason to call for Buhari's disqualification says David West

Published by / 4 Nov 2018 / No comments / ,

Certificate is not enough reason to call for Buhari's disqualification says David West

Former Minister of Petroleum and Energy Prof Tam David-West, in a chat with Sunday SUN has said that those asking INEC to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari because of his WAEC certificate issue are talking rubbish. 

He also said that Among all the 71 presidential candidates for the 2019 elections, none of them can contest with Buhari on the question of integrity. Saying that Integrity is very important.


Some Nigerians have been asking INEC to disqualify President Buhari from seeking re-election because of his secondary school certificate. What is your view of this?

It is rubbish. They are talking rubbish one million times. I have written about it before. This shows you what we are. 

The Diploma he has in American War College is equivalent to Masters Degree in the university. You cannot go to the American War College except you have high school education. I know what I am talking about. Why can’t people do research? We have always been like this because we are lazy; even some big intellectuals are so lazy that they cannot research. 

All what they are saying is nothing new. It has been done before and made front page in newspapers. If INEC does not disqualify him, you can go to court now. You can take INEC to court that it is acting against the constitution. 

The constitution did not say you should have O’level. The constitution says you should read up to O’level. When Nigerian Army said they did not have his certificate, the former Army Director of Public Relations finally came out that they had seen it. So, Buhari certificate issue, it is stupid to raise it. Everyone raising the certificate question is stupid and lazy because it has been done before. 

In any case, he was admitted into the American War College. You cannot be admitted into the college, even if you are an American, without having high school. Now, coming back to both of them. 

One thing that Buhari has, which nobody now in the political terrain can fault, is his integrity. Some people are around him that he has not punished as we want him to, those that have been found to be corrupt. One thing, if you are going to be honest with yourself, however, how much you hate Buhari, one thing you cannot deny him is that he is not corrupt. He is a man of integrity. In fact, Abdulsalami Abubakar called him an extraordinary Nigerian. Obasanjo too has praised him before now. 

Among all the 71 presidential candidates, none of them can contest with Buhari on the question of integrity. Integrity is very important. First ‘ye seek the kingdom of integrity, and everything will fall in place.’ Even, Buhari’s worst enemies will grudgingly say he has integrity. With integrity, you can do anything. If you have integrity, it is easier for you to work. 

This is why I said seek you first the kingdom of integrity and every other thing shall be added on to you. What did he need? A good team. If you marry integrity with a good team together, things will work. 

I have nothing against Atiku. Atiku did something for me he has forgotten. My family was celebrating 100 years of our great-great grandfather’s demise, King Abbi, the first Amanyanabo of Kalabari, Amachree IV, who lived from 1863 to 1900. We were celebrating his 100 years of death in 2000. We were to have a public lecture to commemorate it. We had a lot of functions to celebrate the centenary of his death. Atiku was invited to be the chief guest of honour. The royal family wanted him to be the chief guest of honour. 

We wrote him, but we have not got the reply before I went to see him in his office as the Vice President. I was in Abuja and I phoned him that I wanted to see him, and he asked me to come. So, I went to see him. I explained to him across the table why the celebration was important to me and the royal family of Kalabari. He said ‘Professor, I will come.’ He has forgotten this. 

Atiku was to come, but somebody stopped him. Chief Afe Babalola gave the memorial lecture. I phoned Atiku, I could not get him. We had made all arrangements and he was no more answering my calls. I suspected something was wrong. So, I used my intelligence service, Tam Security Organisation (TSO). I told Buhari, you have NSO and I have TSO. I found out that somebody in government, who was close to me, not from Kalabari, but from Rivers State told him not to come. But what did Atiku do? He didn’t come physically. But he sent somebody to represent him. The representative said the vice president said he should come and stand on his behalf. 

He could avoid me now. Based on that, national anthem was played to welcome Atiku in absence. I will never forget it. I believe the royal family of Kalabari will not forget. I would always respect Atiku for that. So, on balance, where Atiku is a businessman, Buhari is not even a businessman. As a businessman, if Atiku has 60 percent, Buhari will have about 30 percent or 20 percent. But being a good businessman does not mean you will be a good president. But one thing that Buhari has, that none of them has better, is integrity. 

All the other 70 presidential candidates combined, plus Obasanjo, plus Babangida, plus Danjuma, they don’t have integrity better than Buhari.

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