President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday declared that it would not have been possible for him to have attended the Defence Services Staff College, India (1973) and thereafter, United States Army War College, as a Nigerian military officer, if he didn’t sit for the WASC examinations in 1961.
The president made this declaration when he was being presented the attestation and confirmation of his 1961 West African School Certificate (WASC) Examination result from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The documents were presented to the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during a courtesy visit by a delegation of WAEC led by its Registrar, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae.
The Registrar was accompanied by the Head, National Office, WAEC, Olutise Adenipekun; Head Public Affairs, WAEC, Abiodun Aduloju, and Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Abuja, Olufemi Oke.
Speaking at the occasion, the president thanked the examination board, established in 1952, for upholding its integrity over the years.
He added that he did not expect anything less from the institution.
The president recounted that during his secondary school days, it was very difficult to commit examination fraud, even though it was not impossible.
”My colleagues and I who spent close to nine years in boarding school both in primary and secondary, including Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, when we intended to join the military we had to take a military examination.
”We were examined in three subjects, English, Mathematics and General Knowledge because English is the language for general instruction throughout the country because of our colonial heritage.
”Mathematics in the military was necessary, coupled with Geography. We were trained how to be dropped off in the bush, given only a pair of compass and since we were not astronomers, you have to learn to find your way, calculate, using the Pythagoras Theorem and others to work out your position,” he said.
In his remarks, the Registrar said it was possible for candidates to lose their examination certificates through fire and any other unfortunate incident.
”We don’t issue certificates twice but we can issue attestations or duplicate copy of the certificate.
”We also have what we refer to as confirmation; usually, universities were using this in those days when Information Technology was not in vogue.
”Whoever sat for WASC exams in whatever year, we have the records in our database, and Mr. President, we have the records of the examinations you sat in 1961.
”We have the attestation of results which we issue to candidates who lost their certificates and confirmation of results,’’ Uwadiae said.