Secondary school graduates like President Muhammadu Buhari should no longer be allowed to run for president again in Nigeria, says Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Gbajabiamila speaking at the University of Lagos’ convocation on Monday, noted that raising the minimum academic requirement for the office of the president will help to reform the electoral system.
“As we have reduced the age for eligibility to contest those offices, so also, we should increase the minimum educational requirement. It will be another step in reforming our electoral system and providing strong leadership for the country,” Mr Gbajabiamila reasoned.
He urged the National Assembly to review the Nigerian Constitution to achieve the purpose.
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“I also sincerely believe that the National Assembly needs to look into section 131 (d) of the 1999 constitution with a view to increasing the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be future presidents of Nigeria and other top offices, including the National Assembly as against the current minimum requirement of a Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent,” Mr Gbajabiamila pointed out.
Mr Buhari’s educational qualifications became a national issue. There were concerns he did not have the minimum educational requirement to run for president.
However, the West African Examinations Council authorities presented Mr Muhammadu Buhari with his WASSCE certificate in Abuja in 2018.
Nevertheless, critics and opponents of the Nigerian leader have continued to deride Mr Buhari’s educational certificate as nothing more than a utility bill receipt.
A former military dictator, Mr Buhari has variously been described as lazy and inept. Recently, he acknowledged that working six seven hours a day as president of Africa’s most populous nation is an insufferable job, wishing he “will be less busy.”
Mr Buhari was born on December 17, 1942.
“The age is telling on me. Working now for six, seven to eight hours per day in the office is no joke. There are questions of (the) executive council; memos from as many states as possible to be considered virtually every week,” lamented the Nigerian president. “Really, it’s a lot of hard work.”
However, the 79-year-old added, “As I’ve said, I asked for it, and I cannot complain.”
He disclosed that on his wishlist is the need to indulge himself in lazing around.
Last year, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, northern leader Tanko Yakasai and London-based The Economist described Mr Buhari as lazy.
“About my age, I see my colleagues, they are now resting, and I assure you that I look forward to the next 17 months when I too will be less busy,” said Mr Buhari in an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
“I have never supported and will never support Buhari. I know Buhari has no competence to rule the country,” Mr Yakasai asserted in an interview with tribune. “I have never changed my mind about his lack of competence to lead the country.”
The nonagenarian insisted he had always opposed Mr Buhari’s regime “because I knew he could not solve our problems as a country.”
He added, “The capacity is not just there,” while stating that he “would join efforts to look for somebody, who can solve our problems.”