by Kolapo Olapoju
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the statement credited to the Nigerian Army Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Olajide Olaleye, at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, January 20, where he said that the Army was not in possession of the certificates of the party’s Presidential Candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mohammed, the party noted that the PDP and the Jonathan Administration are playing a dangerous game, which may end up destroying the country’s military.
The party bemoaned the attempts to compromise the military in order to satisfy selfish political objectives, while also imploring the military to beware of those who may be seeking to use it to achieve selfish objectives.
In 10 quotes, the opposition party makes its case regarding the controversy:
1. “In an interview with the Punch on Jan. 4th 2015, Brig.-Gen. Olaleye said: ‘Every serving and retired Army officer has at least a copy of his certficates and credentials kept in the Nigerian Army while that same serving and retired officer has copies of those same certificates and credentials’.”
2. “Is Brig.-Gen. Olaleye now saying that he did not make that statement? If he did, what has happened between then and now to make him to recant? It will be interesting to know what has transpired between then and now.”
3. “Is he now saying that all those who were commissioned into the officer cadres in the 1960s did not have their certificates verified? Does this not confirm what we said that in trying to destroy Gen. Buhari, the PDP and the Jonathan Administration will end up destroying the army as an institution? Or is it only Gen. Buhari that was commissioned into the army in the 1960s.”
4. “Those who are behind the latest controversy should now tell Nigerians what happened to Gen. Buhari’s certificates between the time of his affidavit and now.”
5. “However, we know that the PDP and the Jonathan Administration have constituted themselves into a court of law and will like nothing more than the disqualification of our candidate so they will face no challenge in next month’s election. This is wishful thinking.”
6. “It is true that our once globally-respected military has now been made comatose by the PDP-led Federal Government, but we believe things have not reached the level where the same military will be engaging in actions that amount to self destruction, just to satisfy some political interests.”
7. “We believe things have not reached a level where we, as a nation, will now be giving the impression that a man who rose to become a Major-General in the Nigerian Army does not have requisite qualifications?”
8. “What really is happening in our country if some politicians have now decided to engage in an action that will amount to dragging the military into politics, dividing an institution that is a symbol of national unity, trivializing the service of those who fought to keep Nigeria one and ridiculing the same country it is supposed to be ruling?”
9. “We have said it before and will like to repeat: Enough is enough about this distraction orchestrated by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration whose electioneering campaign for next month’s polls has suffered a train wreck.”
10. The party quoted Section 131 (d) of the Constitution, which said: “A person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”