The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) erroneously affixed titles to the names of two of its governors and a minister in a document recently released to the public, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
In the list of the 86-member Campaign Council for the July 15 governorship election in Osun State released on Tuesday, the party referred to Governors AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as well as the Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Sunday Dare, as doctorate degree holders.
The document bearing the wrong appellations was signed by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore,
The council, co-chaired by Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, was constituted to help the party canvass votes in the election in which Its candidate, Governor Gboyega Oyetola is seeking a second term.
Checks by PREMIUM TIMES, however, revealed that Messrs AbdulRazaq, Bello and Dare do not hold a doctorate degree, neither is any of them a medical doctor.
It was also discovered that none of the trio was ever awarded a honourary doctorate degree by any degree-awarding institution anywhere in the world.
With no public record of university or polytechnic education, Mr AbdulRazaq’s secondary education background was in contention ahead of the 2019 governorship election in the state.
While he claimed to have graduated from Government College, Kaduna and duly sat for his final secondary school leaving examination in 1976, his opponents had labeled him a drop-out from the school.
Apart from his controversial secondary school credentials, the Kwara governor, till date has not been able to stop the debate on his claim to have obtained a first degree, much less of a Masters or a Ph.D.
Although more academically qualified, this newspaper can authenticate the Kogi State Governor’s primary, secondary and tertiary institution qualifications.
However, there is no actual record of him ever bagging a Ph.D from any higher learning institution to qualify for the doctorate title APC added to his name in the document.
Mr Bello obtained both his accounting degree and Masters in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Arguably a cerebral person, Mr Dare, a former journalist, bagged his Bachelor of Science (BSc.) honours in International Studies in 1991 and his Master of Arts (MA) in Law and Diplomacy dates back to 1996.
Beyond these two academic qualifications and some awards and recognitions, there is no record showing that he bagged a Ph.D.
Calls to the spokesperson of the Kwara and Kogi State Governors, Rafiu Ajakaye and Muhammed Onogwu respectively, were nor answered.
Toyin Ibitoye, Mr Dare’s spokesperson, could also not be reached for comments.
It’s a new low for the ruling party – Fact Check Expert
The Editor of Dubawa, a fact-checking platform, Kemi Busari, said it is disappointing that the APC leaders appended their signatures to the document without cross checking their facts.
Stating that though the act of spreading misinformation, disinformation and fake news in Nigeria is not new to him, Mr Busari said the involvement of a ruling party in such an act is a “new low” in his years of fact checking claims from members of political parties.
“I feel it is very wrong for them to put a doctorate in their title even if it’s honorary. If they must do that, they should have indicated by putting it in brackets. It is very bad coming from a ruling party, and it also confirms the level of trust gap between people and their leaders.
“We are going into another election year where a lot of people will use a lot of parameters in making their decision, one of such is candidates’ academic qualifications. Why should I trust you if you are parading someone or a candidate with B.Sc or Masters holder as Ph.D holder for me?
“It is very detrimental to decision making when the information coming out is false and this becomes a problem for the electorate,” Mr. Busari said.
This article is a republished article from Premium Times