Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has said that at the time General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) joined the military, nobody in the Nigerian Army could have been admitted without a qualification equivalent to a school certificate.
Obasanjo was fielding questions during an event to promote his book ‘My Watch’ in London during the week, when he revealed that Buhari joined the military four years after him.
In a video of the event on Youtube, he said, “When I joined the Army in the 1950s, I needed to have a Cambridge certificate or West African School Certificate or GCE with a minimum of six subjects to be able to join the military at the time.
“I don’t know of anybody who was an officer at that time that did not have similar certificates.
“Buhari joined the Army about four years after me and if I needed such a certificate to be admitted into the Army, I don’t know how he could have avoided it.
“Assuming he was able to avoid that certificate, Buhari went through a military academy, and went through what you call a staff college which would be the equivalent of a first degree. He went through what you call a war college in America where he would have got an equivalent of a master’s degree.
“Our constitution or electoral law requires a school certificate (to become President). Rather than campaign and debate on real issues, we then degenerated to trivialities.”
Obasanjo explained that during his school days, he had a record that was unrivalled, adding that if anybody were to challenge his education, “I will say, read my book (My Watch).”
Using civil war, he explained that Nigeria’s unification achievement after the country’s civil war had not been matched by any other nation.
Obasanjo said, “Nigeria fought a civil war for three years, and we concluded that war by uniting our country. The slogan was ‘No victor, no vanquished.’
“Within ten years of the end of that war, Alex Ekwueme, who was on the side of Biafra, became the vice president after an election in Nigeria. No country has achieved such a feat. I think we deserve applause.”