The inclusion of Governor Godwin Obaseki among prominent Nigerians with certificate scandals as published in the March 27, 2017 edition of Punch Newspaper is itself scandalous. Any controversy, for the period it may have existed, did not rise above the level of hearsay, street gossip and soft-sell online newspapers.
It is highly displeasing, troubling, and quite unfair to the governor’s person and image to categorise him among those who have had ‘scandals’ on account of the often questionable reports from the opposition party.
Punch Newspaper has distinguished itself with excellent reportage over the years, and does not need to play to the gallery of unverifiable reports by casting doubts over the certification of Governor Obaseki’s education.
It would be recalled that in the build-up to the 2017 Edo governorship election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as required by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended for a candidate with missing proof of academic qualifications, found it necessary to swear an affidavit declaring his certificates missing to the best of his knowledge.
He also explained that he had actually had no cause to look for them for 25 years prior to that time, but proceeded to furnish the public and the electoral body with existing photocopies, which were duly signed and validly stamped by the issuing institutions.
However, those rightly threatened by his profile and educational attainments, which stood in sharp contrast to those of their own candidates for the same election, chose to seek refuge in deliberate misrepresentation of the contents of the affidavit until the governor later produced the original copies.
It remains public knowledge that the subsequently tendered the original copies and, by so doing, put the vilifying affair to bed.
To clear all doubts again, it would be recalled that he had his primary education at St. Matthews Anglican Primary School and attended Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, both in Benin City, before he proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics.
Mr. Godwin Obaseki thereafter did his National Youths Service Corps primary assignment in Jos, Plateau state.
He subsequently proceeded to the prestigious Ivy League Columbia University and Pace University, both in New York, and bagged an MBA in Finance and International Business respectively.
The governor is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, Nigeria and an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program.