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Nigeria presidential candidate says he ‘lost’ academic papers

Seven candidates eyeing the presidency in Nigeria’s general election say their academic certificates are ‘missing’.

According the Nigerian press, the seven, eyeing the president and vice-president seats in the 2023 polls, have told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) they fear the certificates are ‘lost’.

Among those with missing certificates include Bola Tinubu, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate.

APC is the country’s ruling party.

Tinubu and his running mate Kabiru Masari are among the seven candidates with reported lost papers.

The Premium Times claims Tinubu has tasked several people to help him find the certificates.

“What is the point of writing the names of the primary or secondary schools(you went to) when you cannot find the certificates to back them up? What is the point unless Bola Tinubu wants inquisitive Nigerians to storm the schools to dig up abandoned toilets, manure pits, and headmaster’s offices in search of the certificates? Or in the case of one particular school destroyed during the Korean War, it could lead to curious Nigerians disturbing the dead by digging up burial grounds that are now on the premises. These nosy Nigerians would like to perform the DNA test of Tinubu’s deceased classmates to see if there will be a match,” the article reads.

At least 25 Nigerians—most of them members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)—have expressed their interest to run for the presidency in 2023.

Preparations for the polls slated for February 2023 begun in 2021.

According to the Nigerian constitution, a person seeking to vie for presidency should be a citizen of Nigeria by birth, should have attained the age of 35 years, is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party and have been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.

Incumbent President Muhammad Buhari will not be vying for the seat as he is term-limited. His successor’s main challenge will be to stop runaway corruption and insecurity in parts of Africa’s richest country.

In Kenya, several politicians including Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja have been put on the spot by authorities amid concerns over the validity of their academic papers.