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HND qualification truncates Atiku’s 2023 presidential ambition



Intels denies Atiku’s claim, says Buhari not hindering business
Atiku Abubakar

There may be trouble for Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2023 general elections as the Senate on last Thursday passed for second reading, a constitution amendment bill which prescribes the higher national diploma or its equivalent as the educational qualification required for anyone seeking to contest the office of the Nigerian president or state governor.

THE WITNESS had reported that the new bill sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Plateau State, Senator Isfifanus Gyang, also set that the national diploma or its equivalent as the minimum qualification for federal and state lawmakers. The bill seeks to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), and 131 (d).

It will also amend Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) on minimum education qualification for those seeking election into the state assembly, governorship, National Assembly and office of the president.

The bill seeks the alteration of section 65 (2) (a) of the constitution which deals with the qualifications for intending members of the National Assembly

The current law, which the bill seeks to amend, reads, “A person shall be qualified for election under Subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.”

Section 65 (2) (a) has now been rephrased to read “if he has been educated to at least a national diploma level or its equivalent.”

But checks by THE WITNESS shows that the former Nigerian vice-president only has a diploma and may not be qualified to contest the 2023 presidential election if the bill is passed into law.

According to Abubakar’s educational information on Wikipedia:

“His father, Garba Abubakar, was opposed to the idea of Western education and tried to keep Atiku Abubakar out of the traditional school system. When the government discovered that Atiku was not attending mandatory schooling, his father spent a few days in jail until his mother, Aisha Kande, paid the fine. At the age of eight, Abubakar enrolled in the Jada Primary School, Adamawa.

“In 1960, he was admitted to Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola where he did well in English Language and Literature, and struggled with physics and chemistry and mathematics. He graduated with a Grade Three WASSCE/GCE certificate in 1965.

“Following secondary school, Abubakar studied a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna. He left the college when he was unable to present an O-Level mathematics result. He worked briefly as a tax officer in the regional Ministry of Finance, from where he gained admission to the School of Hygiene in Kano in 1966. He graduated with a diploma in 1967, having served as Interim Student Union president at the school. In 1967 he enrolled for a law diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration, on a scholarship from the regional government. After graduation in 1969, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was employed by the Nigeria Customs Service.