Tuesday, August 16, 2016 8:59 am
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Another fire of controversy is currently raging in Edo, over the academic qualifications of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo state, Dr. Godwin Obaseki.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State expressed concern over claims by the APC flag bearer that original copies of all his credentials are missing.
The State Chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, while speaking during a campaign rally of the party in Benin, said the claims deposed to by Obaseki in an affidavit were suspicious and that Obaseki should come clean on the matter instead of playing on the intelligence of Edo people.
He made reference to the affidavit sworn to at an Abuja High Court, wherein he alleged that Obaseki stated that he lost the originals of his primary, secondary, university and National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) certificates at a date that was not given.
According to Orbih, in the affidavit dated 7th June, 2016, Obaseki said, “that all originals of my above said certificate are kept in safe custody in my office but unfortunately during the process of relocating from one office to another, I misplaced the original of the above said original documents…That what I have with me now are photocopies of the secondary school leaving certificates, university leaving certificates and the NYSC discharge certificate.”
Accordingly, the PDP said; “The reasons he advanced are so flimsy and unconvincing. There are many question begging for answers. The affidavit does not contain the locations of where he was moving from and to or the state where he lost the certificates.
“Did he report to the police when he lost the certificates. If it was reported at the time they got missing, we want him to tell us. One will expect that he must have reported the matter to the police. If he did, why did he not attach a copy of the police extract.
“We also do not understand the choice of an Abuja High Court. Did he do that so that Edo people will not know that he claimed he lost his certificates. Is it not unusual that someone will keep his certificates in the office? Since certificates are private documents, one will expect that such documents will be kept in a private residence.
“We don’t want to have a careless governor who will misplace vital state document and give flimsy excuses. Edo state deserves a better person. Who knows the next thing he will claim to have lost? Edo people deserve a better explanation and a more serious minded person.
“Is it not disturbing that the governor could not produce his certificates and has now brought a man, who also cannot produce his own certificate. I challenge Oshiomhole, Obaseki, Phillip Shuaibu and Anslem Ojezua to show their certificates. Pastor Ize-Iyamu, John Yakubu and myself will bring out our certificates. I want journalists to be the judge that day.”
But in a swift reaction to the allegations, the Deputy Director in charge of communication, media and publicity of the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organisation, Mr. Greg Ogiogwa, said the affidavit was self explanatory and that the PDP was only trying to make something out of nothing.
On whether Mr. Obaseki reported the matter to the police, he said the PDP leaders ought to know that police extract is a condition for issuance of affidavit.
“It is an old trick used by the PDP that has always failed them. They did it to Oshiomhole, they did it to Buhari and now it is the turn of Obaseki. It is stated in the affidavit that Godwin Obaseki has applied for the re-issuance of the said certificates or a Certified True a Copy of the original certificates.
“They can spend their time chasing shadows instead of campaigning. We are talking about how to move Edo to the next level and industrialist Edo but they are talking about certificates. We remain focused and will not be distracted by their old tricks.”
The author, Jethro Ibileke, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org