Most ridiculous excuses African politicians have given for not having academic certificates

Former South Africa president Jacob Zuma 

It is some welcoming news that some of the giants in the world of work including Google and Apple no longer require a college degree or equivalents before a person is offered a job.

The same might apply in other fields of work and in the job market in general but what happens when political leaders get into office under a false pretence or without the required educational requirements for the office.

We bring you some of the most awkward and ridiculously untenable reasons that political leaders on the continent have given for not being able to present such certificates.

Tanko Muhammed
Tanko Muhammed

Tanko Muhammed, Nigeria

Nigeria’s new Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammed, said termites destroyed his primary school certificate when his home in Bauchi was invaded in 1998.

The CJN who was first sworn-in on January 25 this year as the acting CJN, after President Buhari suspended the immediate past CJN, Justice Walter Onnogen, made the claims in revelations of an affidavit circulating on social media in his name.

Muhammad, who had submitted the affidavit to the Senate to be confirmed as the head of the Supreme Court, said: “no portion of the certificate was salvaged”.

Muhammad swore the affidavit on February 13, 2002, while he was a judge at the Jos Division of the Court of Appeal. He became a Supreme Court judge in 2007. The claims said the judge criminally altered his date of birth by three years from December 31, 1950, to December 31, 1953.

Sheikh I.C. Quaye
Sheikh I.C. Quaye

Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Ghana

A one-time regional minster for the capital city of Ghana, Accra, Sheikh I.C. Quaye once told the country’s Vetting Committee of Parliament that all his certificates had been destroyed by a Tsunami. He was, however, unable to specifically indicate exactly where this tsunami happened.

The famous Ghanaian politician had earlier also indicated on his CV to the then Appointments Committee of Parliament, that he was a holder of a Diploma in Management and Journalism, issued by Cambridge.

Additionally, he stated that he was a professional banker from The Institute of Bankers, London. On that same CV, he claimed he was also a product of the Institute of Management Studies, London.

All these claims turned out to be false as he would later contradict his claim of being a banker by explaining that it was because he ever worked at the West Africa Bank and in that process had enrolled for a correspondence course in banking. He never completed that course though.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria

Nigeria’s current president claims that his WAEC certificate (high school diploma) is in the custody of the Nigerian Army where he submitted them at the point of enlistment in the military. The former Major General of the Nigerian Army has been accused by citizens and some members of the opposition, demanding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) out-rightly exclude Buhari from the race on account of his inability to provide the WAEC certificate.

This is also a constitutional demand that requires contestants for the office of president to be secondary school graduates at the very least. Mr. Buhari, as Nigerians well know, has not been able to produce this evidence.

President Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma, South Africa

Immediate past president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said he never went to school but was self-educated.

“I never went to school, but I educated myself. I’m proud of that,” he told pupils at Marhulana Primary School, one of the oldest schools in the country. “I took a decision to educate myself when I realized I didn’t have a choice, because my father had just died.”