The Seasonal Search for Missing Credentials
We’ve been down this road before. Just nine years ago, Nigeria considered replacing a doctoral graduate with a man who claimed his certificate belonged to army records. At the time, we blind supporters of the candidate felt that the rank of general in a formal army different from that of Charles Taylor or the rebel army of Foday Sankor should be worth a school certificate.
With such excuses, those who think that paper diplomas have no place in the political arena have concluded that if the general could present his NEPA (electricity bill), it would be enough to get elected. That was the end of the matter. Looking back, some have argued that this was how desperate Nigerians felt about the security challenges facing the nation at that time. Finally, after the fact, Army Records, which is supposed to keep all the certificates, confessed that they could not locate this particular general’s degree, if he had it. We live in a country that is in no rush to digitize anything for fear of taking power and daily bread from those who still carry files from office to office and have the ability to make vital records.
To be fair to the general in question, he had classmates. They formed an association of elderly people in solidarity and mobilized to support their colleague. He saved the general’s face and, some say, his prestige. Once elected, one of the first things our general did was to give up his military title. In the concert of nations, being called president has more aura than addressing a general. The latter had the ring of a trained killer.
Well, while our leader doesn’t want to be called a killer, those watching say he killed a lot of things, from decency in public office to security which should be his tough call. These enemies would further argue that this President has killed the economy, the unity between nations, regions and religions and even the unity of the nation is now hanging by a precarious thread. Thank goodness that’s not how the president sees it. A few days ago, he bragged about having had a lasting impact on the map of the country. Believe it – under his tactical command, Nigeria has become an insurgency center for various groups, but above all it is the kidnapping capital of the world. It is an indelible mark to leave on a nation of nearly 300 million people.
It is therefore curious that the general’s potential successor boldly declared that he had no paper qualifications that could be presented to an auditor. One would expect that in the 21st century, a political party would field a candidate for the presidency of a nation from a region who won the Nobel Prize in Literature with elementary degrees. You may be wrong to think so. In our climate, mostly patriarchal loose associations calling themselves political parties bear no resemblance to the universal definition of political parties, even by the standards of Putin’s Russia.
This potential successor is very unlikely to be the subject of legal controversy. He held several political positions which, like our general, should be qualified as a secondary certificate. As far as this candidate can remember, he has no known high school classmates who could rally behind him. This is not new in a society where brilliant students under the tutelage of private coaches have proven to be better than those who have studied under the four walls of formal schools.
Our party’s candidate, a high-flying professional before entering politics, allegedly blamed poverty for his lack of basic qualifications. However, according to his biographers, he attended American schools, just like our outgoing general. The problem is that unknown soldiers attacked his house at some point while he was in the trenches fighting for the entrenchment of democracy and took away his credentials. They must have hoped to clip his political wings with this singular act. It did not work. He managed to become a senator, governor for two terms and by dint of courage, he became the flag bearer of his party.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have the presence of mind, due to his incredibly tight schedule to write to his American alma mater to request a copy of his certificate especially as it ultimately put an unbridgeable gap between him. and poverty. He hopes that, as Idi Amin once said, what’s good for Jews is good for Uganda. Our candidate wants to bury this obsession with qualifications on paper that he swore by affidavit not to be questioned for his absence.
Our candidate and his media Rottweilers believe that an affidavit is due diligence that should keep this matter adjourned sine die. They think there is absolutely no need to incur the unnecessary ire of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA by beating a dead horse.
Non-Nigerians might find this whole saga absolutely ridiculous. They shouldn’t because we Nigerians don’t. If foreigners looked around carefully enough, they would find qualified Nigerians who are hard to find back home. With the exception of the Nobel laureate, most award-winning Nigerians have abandoned ship for nations ready to polish their stars. Our ruling party candidate swore on this affidavit in hopes that snoopers would let sleeping dogs lie.
Asking how a man born in western Nigeria under Obafemi Awolowo’s free education missed out on primary and secondary school is like raking in old wounds. Also, due diligence means that when a man clearly reveals his lack of qualifications on paper, we should spare him the argument and admit his affidavit into evidence.
Before this article-qualifying distraction attempts to divert attention from what’s important, a high-flying Nigerian politician landed in a London jail last week after what Britons have described as attempted human trafficking. human beings and the removal of organs. The man in question flew another person to London in the hope that he would honor what appears to be an agreement to donate a kidney to a beloved girl who needed it. While the man, a Nigerian senator and visiting professor at Lincoln University in the UK reportedly informed UK authorities of his plan; that didn’t stop Britain, which calls Nigeria “fantastically corrupt”, from swooping down on the man and his beloved wife. They accused the senator of trafficking a minor to London in order to harvest his organ. Friends of the senator published some photos of the “minor” in question showing that he was only a minor. Somehow the senator, despite a lawyer failing to convince the British courts that the boy in question was anything other than a minor, sent him and his wife to a detention center pending the opinion of the prosecutor.
The story was also strategically ‘leaked’ to the local and global press, boosting Nigeria’s notorious image abroad. Not only are we now supposed to be under the radar of everything from drug dealing to 419 and romance scams, but we should now be proving that our underage children and wards are indeed ours and that we mean well by trying to take abroad.