I only consented to address you this morning because of the genuine concern expressed by many supporters and other well-meaning Nigerians that the issue be addressed. Otherwise, I would have dismissed it for what it is – sheer mischief and would not have considered it an issue worth the nation’s while.
“I had assumed all along that all my records were in the custody of the Military Secretary of the Nigerian Army. Much to my surprise, we are now told that although a record of the result is available, there are no copies of the certificates in my personal file. This is why I formally requested my old school the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina [which is now known as Government College, Katsina] to make available the school’s copy of the result of the Cambridge/West African School Certificate. This will be made available to the press the moment this is available.
“However, before we obtain that, let me say for the record that I attended Provincial Secondary School, Katsina. I graduated in 1961 with many prominent Nigerians, including General Shehu Yar’Adua, former chief of staff at the Supreme Headquarters, and Justice Umaru Abdullahi, a former President of the Court of Appeal. We sat for the University of Cambridge/WASC Examination together in 1961, the year we graduated. My examination number was 8280002, and I passed the examination in the Second Division.
“And although the ruling party may want to wish this away, the issue in this campaign cannot be my certificate which I obtained 53 years ago. The issues are the scandalous level of unemployment of millions of our young people, the state of insecurity, the pervasive official corruption which has impoverished our people and the lack of concern of the government for anything other than the retention of power at all costs”.