Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday berated his estranged political godfather, Senator George Akume, who accused him (Ortom) of possessing a ‘fake’ university PhD certificate.
The senator had accused Ortom of parading what he called a ‘fake university PhD certificate.’
Akume, who represents Benue North-West senatorial district at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, had levelled the accusation while addressing an expanded caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Makurdi.
He said the PhD Ortom was parading was from non-existing university, Commonwealth University, Berlin.
Akume said: “Ortom said he has a PhD from Commonwealth University, Berlin; but there is nothing like Commonwealth University” and boasted that; “at least I am a graduate of the University of Ibadan, where I bagged my first and second degrees.”
But in a swift reaction yesterday, Governor Ortom described the allegation as ‘frivolous’ and challenged the senator to campaign on issues that would save his party, the All Progressives Congress, during next year’s general election and leave him alone.
“Ortom should not be the manifesto of APC; they should be concerned about what they can do to the people of the state, if they get power in 2019.
“The issue of certificate is frivolous, as far as we are concerned, the laws of Nigeria have spelt out in clear terms about the qualification a person must have before he or she is elected as governor. It says, once you have a school certificate, you are qualified to be governor and I have a school certificate, a Diploma, an Advanced Diploma, a Master’s Degree and a PhD. So what is it about certificate, do certificates perform in office.”
Governor Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, regretted why the senator had so much interest in his academic qualifications when he (Akume), was not an accrediting institution and had no power to accredit anyone or even vet certificates of people.
“The senator is not an accrediting institution and has no power to accredit anyone or even vet certificates of people. By the way, to become a governor you do not need a PhD, the laws of this country does not specify that one must have a PhD to become governor.
“So the senator appears to be chasing shadows he was talking about the Commonwealth University of Berlin, there is nothing like that and the governor does not say he graduated from Commonwealth University of Berlin. The senator did not know what he was talking about and that’s unfortunate,” he said.
“Remember that he too had a case of certificate. One Mr. Dan Agbese, took him to court over issues bothering on his certificates, and I think that shouldn’t be the issue now as we move into 2019 elections.”
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