The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, last night insisted the nation has gone beyond the issue of President Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate, saying the attempt to re-enact the issue was a distraction.
Speaking on a Channels TV Sunday Politics monitored by our correspondent, the minister insisted that the president had leveraged on his “legendary integrity and acumen” to rejig governance and impact positively on the lives of every Nigerian.
He expressed confidence that the president would win re-election in 2019.
The controversy over Buhari’s certificate had resurfaced following the publication of particulars of presidential candidates by the electoral body where Buhari said his certificates were with the military.
According to the minister, “I think we have gone far beyond that and I want to quote former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who said in 2014/2015 when the certificate saga started, he that, “It is an insult for a man who rose to the highest echelon in the Nigerian Army; a man who went to the War College in the US; a man who rose through Staff College, for anybody to start asking whether he has school certificate or not” and I think I want to leave it there.”
He said the controversy over the certificate was a completely a non-issue, adding, “Mr. President served the Nigerian Army and he has said it over and over again, ‘just go to the Nigerian Army and then ask them to produce my certificate. Honestly this is not a matter I want to waste anybody’s precious time over. It is an insult to a man who has risen to the peak of his carrier in the Army…I think we should move on to some serious issues.”
The minister said the president had been able to fulfill his electoral promises to Nigerians.
On the issue of the rising debt, he said the present government only borrowed $10bn in the last three and half years, saying the previous government borrowed $28bn in five years without tangible results.
He said: “I am absolutely very confident that Mr. President is going to win re-election, not because of anything but because of his track records.
“Nigerians are going to vote in the 2019 election. They are going to make a choice between going back to the era of inefficiency and corruption, an era of decayed infrastructure; the era when bombing and insurgency started to an era where the economy has been revamped, where insecurity has been tackled, where today we can talk about a new development and Nigerians are not stupid”.