By Suraj Oyewale
I was on my way to work on the morning of Monday, January 26, when my friend, Sodiq Alabi, sent me a Facebook message asking me how to contact THISDAY newspapers since I am more familiar with newspaper houses as a regular contributor to issues in national dailies.
Sodiq included in the message a web link to an article in THISDAY newspaper with the title, “Cambridge University: Hausa Language Not Offered in 1961 Exams”. I opened the article to see these lines:
“The controversy over the secondary school results of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, continues as the University of Cambridge has said that Hausa Language, which is one of the subjects listed by Buhari, was not offered in its examinations in 1961.
“The disclosure was contained in a statement from the office of the Director of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation claiming it came through an e-mail dated Thursday, January 22, 2015 from the institution’s Archives Delivery Service Officer, Jacky Emerson, to one SODIQ ALABI who requested for confirmation if the examination body offered Hausa Language in the 1961 West African Certificate Examination it organised.
“Emerson, in his one-sentence reply, said: “According to the Regulations for 1961, African Language papers, including those for Hausa, WERE NOT included for West African School Certificate.”
“This development may have further cast doubts on the certificate which is purported to be General Buhari’s. He is yet to react to the assertion by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation that the document (the published certificate) was forged and illegally procured.” (Capitalizations mine)
Sodiq was shocked such falsehood was attributed to him by Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode and wanted to contact the Editor of THISDAY for such wicked misrepresentation. Sodiq Alabi ([email protected]) had written an email to Cambridge Assessment, the brand name of University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicates, on January 22, 2015, 13.31 hours, to confirm whether Hausa was truly offered by it in 1961 examinations. By 4.10pm same day, Jacky Emerson ([email protected]), Archive Services Delivery officer of Cambridge Assessment, replied thus: “Dear Sodiq Alabi, According to the Regulations of 1961, African Language papers, WERE SET for West Africa School Certificate.”