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Certificate Saga: Uncertainty, fears grip Buhari’s ministers, aides

By News Express on 23/09/2018

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•Kemi Adeosun (middle) and Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu
•Kemi Adeosun (middle) and Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

For some politicians angling for elective offices in the forthcoming general elections next year and those already in office either by appointments or otherwise, the fear of possible backlash from the forced exit of Kemi Adeosun, former finance minister occasioned by alleged forged document submitted for her appointment as a minister may have gripped the presidency, with the likely implications of affection governance and service delivery.

According to Daily Independent, some politicians, staff of some ministries, agencies and departments (MDAs), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the presidency, have begun moves to retrieve credentials that may flag off controversies on their competences and qualifications for their present positions or appointments.

Already, few months after the Adeosun Saga, Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications, is currently enmeshed in a similar allegation. Shittu has been found to have graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) at the age of 25 but failed to participate in the compulsory NYSC scheme in violation of the NYSC Act, according to an online newspaper, Premium Times last week.

Nigerians are eagerly waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari’s response to the emerging scenario, threatening the credibility of his government more so as it took the government six months to gather appointees.

Shittu is said to be relying on the 1979 constitution, which he claims exempted him from serving his country due to his electoral victory as a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly between 1979 and 1983.

But NYSC over the weekend dismissed Shittu’s claim and defence, insisting that Serving in the National (or state) Assembly is not one of the conditions for exemption from national service.

Mrs Adeyemi insisted that the NYSC law gives no preferential treatment to Nigerians other than those exempted by Section 2 of the Act, emphasising that:

“The NYSC was set up to mobilise all eligible Nigerian youths. The Act does not talk about VIPs or children of VIPs. Anyone who is a Nigerian youth, who has a first degree and under the age of 30 must serve, the issue of VIPs or their children does not apply.
Ostensibly, Adeosun resigned on her own volition after it emerged that trusted associates, as she claimed, procured for her a forged National Youth Service (NYSC) exemption certificate with which she got government appointment since 2011, first into a private organisation, as Commissioner for Finance, then as a minister from which she quitted last recently.

But impeccable sources in government circle tells the newspaper that the manner of her resignation coupled with events surrounding the matter may have created fresh worries for principal staffers in the presidency, public officers and politicians angling for elective offices in next year election. “Adeosun was assured by a principal presidential aide of immunity from the matter. In fact, there has been communication between the presidency and the NYSC on how one year of her service as a minister or as commissioner can be converted to make up for the one-year compulsory service to her fatherland,” explained a presidential source to the newspaper.

The informant further added that the solution has precedence under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, where a serving DG with similar background like Adeosun was made to serve in office and a certificate awarded to him after a year by the NYSC.
According to the source, those who forgot to collect their exemption letters all these years have begun coming for them. “There are some who are serving aides to governors and ministers who are desperately seeking solutions. But of course, we will help so long as it is within our reach to do so and it is not against the law,” the directors said.

•Excerpted from a Daily Independent report

Source News Express

Posted 23/09/2018 10:30:54 AM


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