The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, has challenged President Mohammadu Buhari to tender his credentials to show his eligibility to be President of a country like Nigeria.
This is even as President Buhari said he has not retrieved his certificates from the military; stating that anybody interested in seeing his credentials should make official request from the military headquarters.
Over 70 out of the 91 political parties are presenting presidential candidates that will participate in the 2019 presidential elections; and all are expected to tender their credentials.
Over 70 names of presidential candidates had been pasted at the INEC headquarters in Abuja as of Thursday night; but a source at INEC said the figure might be higher than 70.
The list was posted with INEC’s timetable which fixed October 25 for the publication of candidates of political parties across the country.
Some of the candidates include: President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress; former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party; Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress; and former Governor Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party.
INEC source said ballot paper for the presidential election would also be long, adding that the announcement of election results in 2019 might even take longer time.
Meanwhile, the various candidates’ credentials were made available to journalists on Thursday; but again, Buhari failed to attach necessary supporting documents; insisting that they were in the custody of the military.
In the affidavit which he swore to, Buhari said, “I am the above named person and the deponent of this affidavit herein. All my academic qualification documents as filled in my presidential form, APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary of the Military Board as of the time of this affidavit.”
On his part, Atiku submitted all relevant documents, with a Diploma in Law in 1969 from the Ahmadu Bello University being his highest qualification.
The former Vice-President also attached tax returns indicating that he had paid N10.8m in tax from 2015 to 2017 while declaring his income within the period as N60.2m.
Meanwhile, 10 political parties have so far adopted Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim as their presidential candidate.
Olawepo-Hashim, who originally emerged the candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, has since been adopted as the candidate of the Peoples’ Trust.
This was contained in a statement from his media office which indicated that the presidential hopeful would be flying the flag of the Third Force, having consolidated his candidature ahead of the general election.