Katsina College, formerly Provincial Secondary School, which Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, graduated from in 1961, has released Mr. Buhari’s secondary school certificate examination results.

The results, obtained exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday, confirm Mr. Buhari’s claim that he undertook the University of Cambridge West African School Certificate Examinations and obtained five credits in English Language, Geography, Hausa Language, History, and Health Science.

PREMIUM TIMES obtained the computer printout from Cambridge University as well as a statement of result, signed by the current principal of Katsina College, dated January 21, 2015.

The results show that Mr. Buhari, a former military head of state, failed in Mathematics and Woodwork, and had a pass in Literature in English.

The examination centre number was 8280 while Mr. Buhari’s candidate number was 002.

The statement of results is printed on the letter head paper of the Katsina State Ministry of Education, and it shows that the examination took place in 1961.

The Cambridge print out also shows the result of 17 other candidates at the centre, including Shehu Yar’adua, a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters.

Controversy over Mr. Buhari’s result escalated Tuesday after the Nigerian Army, which had earlier admitted to having a copies of his certificate, reversed itself saying it could not even attest to the details listed in his records.

The spokesperson of the Army, Olajide Laleye, said “Neither the original copy, certified true copy (CTC) nor statement of result of Major-.Gen. Mohammadu Buhari‘s WASC result is in his personal file.”

He said while it is the practice in the Nigerian Army that before candidates are shortlisted for commissioning into the officers’ cadre of the service, the selection board verifies the original copies of credentials as presented, “There is no available record to show that this process was followed in the 1960s.”

The military’s comments came after the retired general had said that his lost copies of results were with the Army, an explanation he gave ahead of elections February 14.



Umossoh Otobong

Twenty-two-year old Umossoh Otobong was the best graduating student of BOWEN University, Iwo, Osun State in the 2012/2013 academic session, with a 4.97 CGPA from Accounting department. She shares her experience as an undergraduate with TUNDE AJAJA

What was the attraction in accounting for you?

I have always loved Management Science for some reasons and I like Accounting as a course and as a profession. I see it as a versatile field, coupled with my proficiency in mathematics. I had always wanted to be among those who could provide solutions to problems. That geared me towards Accounting because it is a course that is needed everywhere and there is nothing we do that does not involve management, either of money or situations; the knowledge of accounting is key. It goes beyond counting or recording money.

Can you still recall your elementary and secondary school experience?

I used to be playful when I was young, not beyond normal though, but my dad was very strict, and he would take none of that. In fact, he used to flog me and he had a way of making me prepare ahead of my class to ensure that I came out best. That helped me eventually because when I was in primary three and my brother was in primary five, I was able to do some of the things primary five pupils were doing. My secondary school period was my formative years because competition was very severe as there were many brillant students in my class. Then, you had to try your utmost best to be among the best. Being the best was not enough then, you had to be your utmost best to have a place, and that was when I learnt to study very hard.

Did anyone influence your choice of Accounting?

My mom was very encouraging and supportive. She steered me towards my choice. She told me to do whatever I had in mind to do and not what people felt I could do.

How about your dad who coerced you into being serious?

My dad had no input, not because he didn’t want to but he couldn’t. He had passed on at that time. He died in 2006 when I was in SS2.

What impact did your background make and how much did it influence you?

My dad was a great disciplinarian. He instilled in me the desire to be the best and I’d say without his drilling, I don’t know if I would have been this serious and committed to my academics. I know that coercion into studying is not enough because we always have a choice to make but he did his best and I thank God that I yielded.

One would have thought you were a genius to have a 4.97 CGPA?

Well, God has given me the gift to understand things speedily and I tried my best to work hard, coupled with God’s grace, so, I can’t say if I’m a genius. My secondary school really helped me because I learnt that putting children in classes that were very competitive could help them to work hard. If you put them in a class where everybody is average, no one would care about being the best. They tend to relax, or become local champions. You may be brilliant but you may not be motivated enough to work on yourself to bring out the best in you if you don’t see other people doing well or you have nothing at stake. So, for me, the hard work was self-driven.

How easy was it passing your West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination?

I wrote both WASSCE and UTME twice, not because I failed though. I passed UTME the first time I wrote the exam but my mum said I was too young to enter the university, so I had to wait for another year. I wasn’t happy, and I kept telling her that I wanted to go to school but she did not allow me, so I had to wait. I believe she had her reasons. While waiting at home, I wrote another WASSCE to include Commerce. I was in the science class in school while I had always had preference for Management Science. Commerce was necessary to study Accounting, so I wrote WASSCE again to be able to study Accounting, my preferred course. It was the best decision eventually because if my mother didn’t tell me to wait, I would have gone to school to study a different course. So it’s better. I wrote another UTME and passed, so I had no problem with admission.

How was your performance as a first year student?

My performance in my first year was exceedingly satisfactory. It laid a very good foundation for my success.

Can you still remember your grades?

I had 4.89 in 100L first semester, then something above 4.7 in my second semester. The rest was 5.00. I had 5.00 from my 200L to 400L when I finished. It was God’s grace. I just decided to make my mom’s investment in me worth all her sacrifices, so it was the desire to make my mum proud that motivated me to be my best. If my father were alive, I would have loved to impress him and make him proud too.

Did you ever plan to be the best graduating student in your set?

Yes. I attended the university convocation ceremony in my first year and I saw how the best graduating student was celebrated. I decided that I wanted to be in that position one day. It wasn’t very easy to get there but thank God I attained it. I wouldn’t say I did anything that was so extraordinary. I slept and read normally, even though I read more sometimes, but not beyond the extraordinary and I could read anytime. I was also involved in a few other things. I’d just say I’m highly favoured and God blessed my efforts.

What were the extra efforts, sacrifices or commitments you made?

Well, I wouldn’t say I sacrificed anything but I let go lot of many social gatherings and I made sure I understood a particular topic before the lecturer moved to the next. However, during exams, I spent most of my time reading and I read with my friends too, even though some of them found me boring when it comes to social life because I wasn’t really going out.

How often did you use the library?

Oh, very often, in fact, almost everyday, as long as there was time. In fact, I had a seat there that I was very fond of and the duration of my visit depended on my itinerary for the day.

Can you still remember the lowest grade you had?

Yes, it was a ‘B’. I had it only twice in 100L; one in my first semester and the other one in my second semester. I expected more than a ‘B’ in the first semester course, I was thankful though, but the one in second semester was not really a surprise.

Did you know all along that you would be the best graduating student?

I had an idea of it when I was nominated for an award in my 300L, but I wasn’t really sure until after our final examinations in 400L. I was not even informed I was the best until the day of the convocation. My mum was also there, and it was very rewarding.

Was there peer pressure on you?

Birds of same feather flock together. My friends had the same priorities like me. So, there wasn’t a lot of peer pressure. If anything, it was mutual encouragement to do better.

How did you use your leisure, or you never had one?

I had leisure. I spent such times watching movies, reading books and chatting with friends.

It is believed that men love to associate with brilliant and intelligent ladies; to what extent were you disturbed and how did you handle the gestures?

I was disturbed to a reasonable extent but I tried as much as possible to be respectful, polite and friendly with the opposite sex. I was not very social, so many people didn’t know me, hence, my exposure to them was somehow limited.

What are your future plans and aspirations?

By God’s grace, I plan to be a chartered accountant (currently working on that), qualify into as many professional bodies as possible, further my studies, keep myself relevant and be the best at whatever I put my efforts into.

Were you told stories by anyone about how difficult it could be to have a First Class and did such affect you in any way?

Yes, I was. However, I always told myself if God could help other people make first class, why wouldn’t He help me?

Where would you like to work?

I’m aiming high. I love to work in the World Bank or somewhere I will be relevant, help provide solutions and be adequately appreciated.

What would you advise students, both the incoming and those already in school, to do to have an excellent result?

Well, I’ll advise them to work hard and study, not only for the sake of passing examinations but also for the sake of having adequate knowledge of their chosen fields. And most importantly, pray, because we can do nothing without God’s grace and favour.

Copyright PUNCH.



The West African Senior School Certificate Examination, organised by the West Africa Examination Council, is the principal final examination for secondary school pupils in Nigeria. Just as the results in the last three years have been everything but satisfactory, the results of the 2014 May/June examination have left stakeholders deeply troubled.

Like every other institution in the country facing its worst moment, it seems that the education sector has not been spared. Out of 1,692,435,000 candidates that sat for the exam, only 31.2 per cent managed to obtain a credit pass in five subjects, including Mathematics and English.

In 2013, only 36.57 per cent of the candidates managed to cross the bar, a further dip compared to 2012 that had 38.81 per cent of students passing the exam using similar yardstick.

The National Examination Council, which is Nigeria’s second most popular terminal examination convener for Senior Secondary School students, also keeps watching as the downward spiral continues. Considering the gradual decline in the pass rate from 92 per cent in 2011 to 68 per cent in 2012 and 52 per cent in 2013, the days ahead may spell doom for the education sector.

The learning environment in Nigeria has been altered. Schools are not what they used to be and schoolchildren seem to have more things competing for their time now than ever before. Television houses no longer resume at 4pm, as was the practice about a decade and half ago. Nowadays, TV broadcasting is a 24-hour affair. Parents also no longer have to yell to students to turn off the television and go to bed. Instead, teenagers are required to switch off their cell phones and do the needful – read or get on some other important tasks.

More than ever, the entertainment industry appears to have reached its peak. As a result, there is always a new song to download. It is not strange to find schoolchildren with their ears plugged with headsets and nodding to the rhythm of music, humming and miming songs from their favourite artistes.

Since the internet is affordable and accessible to many people, it should ordinarily be seen as one of the factors that aid performance. But the internet’s amazing resources seem to be ignored by scores of pupils who spend an average of three and four hours online every day. It is almost impossible to find a secondary school pupil, especially in urban or sub-urban communities, that does not own a smart phone and thoroughly understands how to manipulate the device to do as he or she wishes. Maybe it is time to research deeply into how to use some of these devices to improve knowledge.

Blanket rules by most schools banning all technology enabled devices may not be in the best interest of their pupils, if the baby and the bathwater are not to be thrown away. Schools may need to face the reality of the present day and age.

Technology is addictive. Educational institutions may need to explore the addictive nature of the internet and fix the problem of failure partly from this perspective. If new media technology is shaping several aspects of our lives and we are adjusting fast, education should not be left out. If anything, learning should be fun and easier.

Pupils no longer need to carry around dictionaries, encyclopaedia, maps and a number of other textbooks. They have the advantage of several options to choose from online or even on a single device. Chemistry students will find videos explaining the concept of organic chemistry from several sources online, same way a biology student can find explicit videos on the process of meiosis and mitosis that can engrave the knowledge in memory permanently. It is likely that students will favour an after-school assignment that’s happening on Facebook to one requiring the conventional approach.

There is however the need for setting boundaries to guide students in accessing these resources. Maybe it is also important to state that with technology, it is easier for the poor to get education today than it was previously.

A thorough grasp of the English Language is also possible with the deluge of literatures available and accessible online in addition to the ease with which newspapers can be accessed to enable students build a rich vocabulary base, understand national issues and also have grasp of the register of various disciplines and industries – a knowledge regularly tested by external examiners like WAEC.

With technology here to stay and it will be an error on the part of educational administrators to ignore this. It is worrisome to have external examiners only adopt technology in making administration of the examinations possible through form purchase and result checks alone. It should be wholesome. Learning needs to find a place in this revolution as it is. one certain way to keep students engaged and excited about learning. New media driven education is not about having computer labs in schools, it’s deeper than that.

Education ought to be a major priority 0f the Nigerian government with a need to make public primary and secondary schools as competitive and qualitative as the private ones. The glorious era of Nigeria’s educational system was after all during the period when the public secondary school reigned. There is also the dire need to review the educational budget of Nigeria. Ghana’s budget currently stands at 31 per cent; Coted’Ivoire’s 30 per cent, Uganda’s 27 per cent and Swaziland’s 24.6 per cent makes a mockery of Nigeria’s miserable 10.7 per cent. Education also needs to be redesigned to attract brilliant hands, since the quality of teachers also affects learning.

Entertainment and sports, two industries are popular with the youth today, do not develop a country. Urgent attention has to be paid to the education sector or like the growing failure rate, Nigeria will continue to grow negatively in ranking on several development indices and fate ourselves with a future with very shaky foundation that would draw tears from us many years from now.

Copyright PUNCH.