The controversy surrounding the West African School Certificate (WASC) Examination result of President Muhammadu Buhari was laid to rest yesterday as the West African Examination Council (WAEC) handed to the President the attestation of the certificate issued to him in 1961.

But in different reactions, the Presidency described the development as an end to the smear campaign of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the President while the PDP described it as a tragicomedy.

A statement issued by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that the documents were presented to the President at State House during a courtesy visit by a delegation of WAEC led by its Registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, and accompanied by Olutise Adenipekun, Head, National Office, WAEC; Abiodun Aduloju, Head Public Affairs, WAEC; and Olufemi Oke, Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Abuja.

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Receiving the certificate, President Buhari thanked the examination board for upholding its integrity over the years, saying that he expected nothing less from the institution.

The President said it would have been impossible for him to attend the Defence Services Staff College, India (1973) and thereafter, United States Army War College as a Nigerian military officer if he did not sit the WASC examinations in 1961.

He recalled that during his secondary school days, it was very difficult to commit examination fraud even though it was not impossible.

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He said: “My colleagues and I who spent close to nine years in boarding school both in primary and secondary, including Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, when we intended to join the military, we had to take a military examination.

”We were examined in three subjects-English, Mathematics and General Knowledge-because English is the language for general instruction throughout the country because of our colonial heritage.

”Mathematics in the military was necessary, coupled with Geography. We were trained on how to be dropped off in the bush, given only a pair of compass, and since we were not astronomers, you had to learn to find your way, calculate, using the Pythagoras Theorem and others to work out your position.”

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In his remarks, Uwadiae said it was possible for candidates to lose their examination certificates through fire and any other unfortunate incident.

”We don’t issue certificates twice but we can issue attestations or duplicate copy of the certificate.

”We also have what we refer to as confirmation. Usually, universities were using this in those days when Information Technology was not in vogue.

”Whoever sat for WASC exams in whatever year, we have the records in our database. And Mr President, we have the records of the examinations you sat in 1961.

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”We have the attestation of results which we issue to candidates who lost their certificates and confirmation of results.”
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