Bill to bar secondary school leavers from becoming president passes second reading

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A bill seeking to bar secondary school leavers like President Muhammadu Buhari from becoming president or occupying other elective positions on Tuesday passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by lawmaker Adewunmi Onanuga, the bill seeks to amend Sections 65, 106, 131 and 171 of the 1999 Constitution, increasing the educational qualification for elective positions in the country.

During the debate, Mrs Onanuga argued that whoever wants to lead the country should possess more than secondary school certificate.

Speaking at the 52nd convocation of the University of Lagos earlier in January, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said there was a need to increase 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 Buhari’s educational qualifications became a national issue during the 2015 election campaign, with concerns that he did not possess the minimum requirement to become Nigeria’s president.

Though the West African Examinations Council eventually presented Mr Buhari with a WASSCE certificate in Abuja in 2018, his critics have continued to deride the school certificate as nothing more than a utility bill receipt.

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