The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has challenged Governor Godwin Obaseki to show evidence that he was qualified to be admitted to the University of Ibadan in 1976.
Mr Ize-Iyamu threw the challenge during the governorship debate Sunday night.
The debate was organised by Channels Television and moderated by its political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye.
APC had in June disqualified Mr Obaseki from contesting its primaries over allegations that he had problematic academic certificates.
“We are not doubting you going to the university. That is not the issue. The issue is (that) you failed by your own records. You failed school cert. You had three credits, no English, no Maths, even to enter A level would have been difficult,” Mr Ize-Iyamu said.
“And if you got the A Level, where is the result? That is a moral question. A lot of people are looking up to you as a governor and as a leader. The question is that you failed your level and that is why you were disqualified (by APC) and your disqualification arose from information from the PDP, your party now. Because the PDP when I was contesting against you (in 2016) said you have no results. Why have you not answered the question. Where is your result?
Asked to comment on his days as a student of the University of Benin where he allegedly poured acid on a fellow student and also expelled, Mr Ize-Iyamu said the allegation was not true.
He said, “I graduated from the University of Benin. I was very active in the students’ union and my records are clear. People have alleged that I did that but I think they should go to the university authorities and find out exactly what was the offence.
“If you do something very criminal, the university cannot even handle it. And I am proud that throughout my stay, I was not engaged in any criminal matter.”
Speaking on the certificate controversy, Mr Obaseki, apparently referring to his predecessor and former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, wondered why somebody who had no certificate would comment on such matters.
He said, “It is very ironic that someone who has no certificate can stand up and comment on someone whose certificate was issued by the premier university in Nigeria. That is a very sad situation that we have found ourselves in as a country.”
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The governor explained that he was admitted to the University of Ibadan at the time there was no JAMB, adding that the authorities of the institution had since come out to confirm his graduation.
“In 1976 when I gained admission into the University of Ibadan, there was no JAMB. You could either go into the university through prelim or through Direct Entry in your advanced level examination,” he said.
“I finished my O Level and my Advanced Level and it was As. So, I gained admission into the University of Ibadan.
“I don’t know what has happened but for the University of Ibadan, the standard is still very high and they have come out to say that I graduate from that university. How else do you want to make that clear?
“It is very sad that in a country like Nigeria, some people who do not have the qualifications have the effrontery to challenge the qualifications of those who went to proper schools. It is sad.”