Despite previous boasts of academic and intellectual supremacy, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi filed a lowly, secondary school level General Certificate Examination (GCE) with INEC as his highest educational qualification, drawing a sharp contrast with the more prominent candidates of the APC and PDP who presented a University Bachelors’ degree and Masters degree respectively.
This was revealed in a Tuesday publication made by INEC listing all the qualified presidential candidates in the 2023 contest alongside details of their credentials, including educational qualifications. With his GCE, Obi turned out the least qualified amongst the top three, failing to provide proof of his university education and other doubtful claims of academic training in elite schools in America and Europe he previously made.
Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the APC, filed his BSC in Business Administration with the independent electoral body, while Atiku Abubakar of the PDP presented a Master’s Degree. This disclosure of Tinubu’s filings ended baseless reports seeking to cast doubts on his academic history, including insinuations that he had no university education – despite repeated affirmation and evidence of outstanding student performance by his Alma Mata.
For Obi, meanwhile, although he maintains he obtained a degree in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria in Nsukka – in addition to dozens of purported foreign academic training in choice institutions – his failure to present more than a GCE certificate has added credence to news of his poor academic records and allegations that far from his public posturing a sound intellectual, he is but a dull individual who fumbled his way to the top of Anambra’s politics through divisive tactics and effective weaponization of falsehood.
Nigerians have since expressed concern about whether a candidate who lacks sound tertiary education is capable of leading the country at this time. This combines with previously growing skepticism of Obi’s purported intellectual rigor as the public grew tired of his evasiveness and inability to provide direct answers highlighting his exact plans to tackle Nigeria’s challenges when subjected to scrutiny by journalists.
A recent instance was when the former Anambra Governor went on a long incoherent rant when asked about his plans to tackle climate change, after first declaring his ignorance on an important subject driving policies across the globe and with notable impact on security and social issues in Nigeria, particularly in the Lake Chad region.