Some bloggers have moved against the Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, for allegedly twisting the facts relating to the West African School Certificate of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as released by the Cambridge Assessment last week.
The bloggers alleged that though the original message sent by the institution to one Sodiq Alabi confirmed that Hausa was one of the African language papers candidates in the West African School Certificate Examination sat for in 1961, Fani-Kayode had, in a press statement, altered the facts to discredit Buhari and revisit an issue that was already resolved.
Reports published in some national newspapers (PUNCH excluded) on Monday said Fani-Kayode had claimed, in a press statement, that he saw an e-mail message from the Cambridge Archives Delivery Service Officer, Jacky Emerson, which said that Hausa was not listed among WASCE subjects in 1961.
According to the statement credited to the former Aviation Minister, Emerson had said, “According to the Regulations for 1961, African Language papers, including those for Hausa, were not included for WASC.”
Fani-Kayode reportedly admitted that the email authored by Emerson was sent to Sodiq Alabi who requested the institution to clarify the issue.
But Suraj Ayewale, a chartered accountant and blogger who claimed to be Alabi’s friend, said Fani-Kayode’s statement was the direct opposite of the information obtained by the recipient.
The lengthy article, posted on social media and in some blogs on Monday, faulted the PDP Campaign Organisation’s spokesman for mischievously modifying the facts to discredit the APC presidential candidate.
Oyewale said his friend was shocked that the facts he obtained from the United Kingdom-based institution were misrepresented for the wrong reasons and still attributed to him.
He said the act showed how far politicians could go to protect their interests and that it spoke a lot about the credibility of Fani-Kayode.
“How do we believe other things Fani-Kayode has been saying if he could alter facts that are in the public domain?” he asked.
Oyewale also noted, “It was after the screenshot of the email exchanges between Alabi and Emerson that other Nigerians started sending emails to Cambridge Assessment for independent confirmation. The response of the institution to others was not different from the initial email to Alabi.
“Apart from personal email messages they exchanged with concerned Nigerians, they posted a press release on its website and it was not different from the earlier position. Where did Fani-Kayode get the email he referred to in the press release?”
Following the development, the social media platforms are awash again with debate over the authenticity of Buhari’s credentials.
Meanwhile, fans of Fani-Kayode, who is at the centre of the recent controversy, have commended him for standing up against the antics of the opposition party.
Responding to the development on Twitter, one Femi Owolabi noted that the APC would have gotten away with its “misdemeanours” if people like Fani-Kayode had not exposed them. He urged the former minister to be resolute in his determination to stand by the truth.
Usman Ikhana, who also posted on his Twitter page, said Fani-Kayode was the debate “real man” that Nigeria needed at such a critical period time in her history.
Fani-Kayode, as at press time, had not responded to the allegation of forgery.
He had suggested that Buhari be stripped of his military rank for joining the Nigerian Army with a fake result, a statement the spokesman of the opposition party, Lai Mohammed, described as laughable.
“This happened long ago. As a former Head of State, I don’t think he’s going to look for a job anywhere and be asked to bring his original credentials. He swore an affidavit and he tendered it when he contested for the presidency in 2003, 2007 and 2011, respectively. So what is the noise about Buhari’s credentials?” Mohammed asked.