An author with the African Writer Magazine, Ikhide Ikheoa, has said the Delta State Governor and running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, Ifeanyi Okowa, was his classmate at Edo College, Benin City.

Ikhide, in a reaction to the controversy over Okowa’s certificate, posted to his Facebook page, Pa Ikhide, that the governor was his classmate from 1974-1976 (HSC).

Ikhide, who until recently was also the Chief of Staff to the Board of Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Maryland, United States, said Okowa was one of the smartest “in a very competitive class.”

“Dr. Arthur Okowa was my classmate at Edo College (1974-1976 HSC). In a very competitive class he was one of the smartest. He passed his A levels with flying colours and went on to become a medical doctor. I found my 1974 WASCE result the other day, I was surprised to see it! ” he wrote.

Ikhide added that Okowa’s pedigree could be verified with another “classmate and my bosom friend, Professor Eghosa Osaghae,” who he referred to as a “great political scientist and current director general of NIIA (Nigerian Institute of International Affairs).”

“You can verify Arthur’s pedigree with another classmate and my bosom friend Professor Eghosa Osaghae, great political scientist and current director general of NIIA. We were at Edo College together and they both attended UI (University of Ibadan),” Ikhide said.

Ikhide noted that certificates were “largely ceremonial”, while transcripts were more important.

“Decades ago, Nigerians had many scholars for leaders. It’s been almost 50 years but I remember Arthur as a smart, decent, caring soul. Certificates are largely ceremonial; in four decades in the US, I’ve never had to show anyone my certificates. That’s what transcripts are for.

“PS: Arthur was very smart. I was always first in class, and he would come a distant second. I am a genius. What??? Ask him!” added Ikhide.

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