Following series of post-election crisis in the country, a way out of the logjam has been offered.
To address the issue from getting worse and negatively affecting the ongoing Democratic process in the country, Nigerians have been told to make education a pre-election Issue.
Chief Livinus Chukwudi Okwara, speaking in Lagos, said certificate issue should rather be a party affair.
He said, “Let the party scrutinise the education certificates of their candidates and clear or disqualify those who met or didn’t meet the criteria as enshrined in the party’s constitution before contesting foe any elective post.”
He said this process will be less cumbersome and would save the candidate who failed to meet the needed criteria from legal crisis, huge electoral cost or even disqualification from contesting for the post he/ she desires.
He warned Nigerians not to tear the country apart through unneccessary emphasis on certificate.
According to the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, party in Lagos State, by placing unnecessary emphasis on certificates as it currently plays out in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s University of Chicago certificate saga, the polity is unnecessarily being overheated.
It would be recalled that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had taking his case to the Chicago University in America to provide him with details of the academic records of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over suspicion that the certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was fake.
He also approached the Supreme Court of Nigeria asking it to disqualify Tinubu for same reason.
But, Okwara, advised Nigerians to be careful of their actions.
“Too much education is a disease. Some people are taking the education issue as an excuse to cause crisis in the country; leaders in the country should now, more than ever before, be more careful about what criteria should be adopted to pick our future political leaders,” he said.
Okwara, the proprietor of Rimax Institute of Computer Technology, Meiran, Lagos state, said Tinubu has met all the criteria as the President.
“The purpose of education is to enable you to read and write. Tinubu has met the condition. It is is stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1989(as amended); so, the issue of certificate forgery being woven around him is a fallacy, and should be discarded,” he warned.
He said the Nigerian Supreme Court is made up of mature judges, who know the right things to do, and who has the ability to lead the people of this country effectively like Tinubu.
He said Nigeria’s education is currently low, adding that about 5 per cent of Africans currently have basic education.
Sadly, he lamented that education has been taken to a level that is creating problems for us in the country.
He urged the Supreme Court to take decisive decisions to strengthen democracy by not allowing certificate issue to derail our democratic journey.
He said, while ministers or commissioners, etc could be required to possess Master or PHD degrees before being appointed because they have to be proficient in their professions, it should not be so for the president.
He said higher education is needed for members of the Nigerian National Assembly, but in China, India , not much emphasis is placed on higher education, and they are doing well, producing goods on mass scale for internal and external consumption.
He called for the promotion of indigenous languages like Youruba, Igbo, Hausa -Fulani, saying that some states like Lagos, Zamfara, Kebbi and Kano, are already adopting their indigenous languages in schools and legislative chambers together with English language to conduct their affairs.
According to him, what Nigeria needs now is sincere leadership; adding that while dissecting Nigeria, the late Chinua Achebe once said that Africa’s nay, Nigeria’s problem is sincere leadership.
Okwara argued that, cases of people lying to obtain WAEC and other examinations’ results abound everywhere in the country.
He noted, for example, that most of our traditional rulers lead their people even without education, adding that the nation should reassess itself on how to move the country forward by not placing too much emphasis on paper qualification.
He said one needs education for self development, and should not be the main yardstick for occupying public offices.
He described President Tinubu as eminently qualified to lead Nigeria as its president given his widely acknowledged administrative acumen, human and other resources’ management.
He dismissed the ex- Lagos governor’s certificate saga as a mere distraction, adding that some analysts have argued that graduates of American universities, including the controversial Chicago University, have freedom to redesign their certificate to their individual tastes; therefore, Tinubu, who had since been cleared by the university to have have graduated from there, did not err in redesigning his.
He described America as a free society pointing out that despite the attempt to denigrade Tinubu, he would overcome his current challenges.
He said, “Tinubu came from a poor home; he is self-educated, he studied in the US, became Senator and two-term Governor of Lagos state(1999-2007), before rising to the highest leadership of the country as our president.
“He (Tinubu), is a good example of a humane, trusted and tested person. Look at his struggle for survival and democracy for Nigeria and Africa in the US, and how he helped many Nigerians to survive there and in the country? He is extremely kind and generous!”
He urged Nigerians to invest in agriculture as advised by Tinubu, adding that Tinubu’s governance records in Lagos in all parameters, including roads, education, housing, security, and other management issues, remain enduring and a reference point to other states and governments across the world.
He said he is encouraged by the President’s leadership skill, which has encouraged him to now nurse the idea to invest in agriculture on his 400 acres of land in Ogun state.
He said despite efforts to distract Tinubu, he won the presidential election, and he is on track to lead Nigeria well; and called on his (Tinubu’s) political opponents, including Abubakar Atiku and Dr Peter Obi of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Labour Party, LP, respectively, to join hands with Tinubu and other patriotic Nigerians to.drive the President’s renewed home agenda to fruition.
Okwara said he is also encouraged by the ongoing effort of the government to establish Community Centres, where people from all divides could meet and take decisions about their lives/ communities.
He warned that any attempt to derail the current government will be resisted.
“They will find us in the streets”, he said.