Pa Alex Ajayi was the Nigerian Assistant Registrar for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in the 1960s.
Following the controversy surrounding President Buhari’s lack of school certificate, Pa Ajayi, now 86, claims that he was in charge when Buhari was issued his WAEC certificate.
Speaking with Kamarudeen Ogundele during an interview, Pa Ajayi said:
“I was the principal of Fiditi Grammar School, Oyo State, at age 26 in 1956 and produced the first set of students in 1959.
“I ensured that the school was stabilised before I joined the West African Examinations Council. I also established a football team and the late Teslim (Thunder) Balogun came from Ibadan to train my boys. They went on to win all their matches in the western region and even defeated the University of Ibadan football team 12-0.
“With that level of achievements, I joined the West African Examination Council as a pioneer staff. I was the first substantive Nigerian Assistant Registrar. I took over the control of the examination from the University of Cambridge. I took examiners to Cambridge for training across 10 years and trained them in Nigeria. I had the opportunity of issuing WAEC certificates to three former Heads of State: Buhari, Abacha and Babangida in the 60s.
“When I was in WAEC, I was put on the council of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1966 by the national government of Aguiyi Ironsi. I was put on three important committees. The vice-chancellor and others were interested that I became a full staff of the university which I was not really keen about. But I finally accepted out of pressure. When I was serving on the council of the University of Ife, I was among the three-member committee selected by Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the first chancellor. I was on the council that installed him in 1967. From the early days of my life, I never applied for jobs. I was just invited. I stayed at the University of Ife before I left for an examination correspondence college as a director and controller producing lectures for professional courses and involved with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Insurers and Institute of Bankers. I had the joy of launching these new lecture courses in the universities in Lagos, Ife and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Thereafter, I went into private business with the late of Oni of Ife and Leventis. I established a factory at Ibadan where I was a director and subscribing shareholder.”