When Premium Times announced its latest scandal via their blog which was that Kemi Adeosun, the Minister for Finance had dodged service and forged her NYSC certificate, the mediasphere immediately went into convoluted spasms with a number of Nigerians, largely for the sake of partisanship than for wanting to get to the truth of the matter, calling for the Minister’s head.
For a while now, it did seem that the medium (Premium Times) had a grouse with Mrs Adeosun, naturally the media ought not to be friends with anybody, particularly those in elite-leadership cadre, but then when the media make their case look like a hatchet job by regularly constructing alternative narratives much far and distant from the truth, then alarm is the word.
First, it was on the issue of illegally sharing a huge amount of 10 billion Naira to the leadership of the National Assembly. That story largely excited the ever news hungry citizenry but a quick read and a reflection on the real situation and process in which such funds are released, produced a disappointing review as such to me ought to have been the stuff of lesser known blogs and not Premium Times.
The blog managed a few more sorties against the Minister while at the same time, it sold a dummy to Nigerians that Miyetti Allah had justified the killings in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State, whereas the parent body of cattle herders never did such a thing and immediately reacted to such untruth forcing the medium to publicly retract the story and apologise to the group’s North Central leader, Mr Danladi Ciroma.
So, when Premium Times broke its story on Adeosun’s alleged forgery of her NYSC exemption certificate, providing its own evidence such as the fact that Mrs Adeosun had graduated at the age of 22 but had applied for exemption much later or that the DG, the late Brigadier General Yusuf Bomoi, whose signature was appended at the certificate in question, was no longer in office as at the time it was issued.
Premium Times went on to allege that a number of other things were eerily wrong with the certificate, such as the serial numbers; the allegations that the NYSC does not give persons who were qualified to participate in the one year scheme, exemption certificates, and that the certificate did not appear in the exemption register.
For the now, the NYSC has stated categorically that it would investigate the exemption certificate, however, it did confirm that Adeosun had applied for such exemption.
Premium Times however forgot to tell Nigerians that Adeosun was not born in Nigeria and neither did she attend any Nigerian institution of learning.
Adeosun was born in the UK and had all her schooling there and at the age at which she graduated, it does appear that she did not have any clear cut plan to come and work in Nigeria, and a quick check with the facts suggest that she returned to Nigeria at the age of 35, can it then really be stated that she “dodged” Youth Service?
I ask, does the law setting up the NYSC make it compulsory for citizens abroad to damn all pervading realities and come home for the mandatory one-year service even when such timing is not favourable to the individual? We are talking about the NYSC and not the means of a military conscription? Haba, even the draft, as it was popularly called in the US, did not impose itself on American citizens born and residing outside her shores before it gave way for an All Volunteer Force system
Thus, the above argument buries the allegation that the NYSC does not give exemptions to those who graduated at the
“Service” age, such attempts at “originalism”, permit me to use the word, fall extremely short!
Even when I stated that I would not dwell on some other issues raised by Premium Times as we await NYSC’s investigation, I am much compelled to skirt around the issue of forgery a bit.
Now, if it is true that Kemi Adeosun returned to the country at the age of 35, sometime in 2002 to work in the private sector and still applied for an exemption in 2009, even before she ever dreamt of working with the government, is it plausible even to the most cynical of minds that an Adeosun, who never dreamt of working for government but returned to Nigeria solely for a very personal reason, would have forged an exemption certificate? No, is the music sir!
Even the issue of Bomoi not been the DG of the NYSC and yet had his signature appended to Adeosun’s exemption certificate, has been knocked out as a number of social media zealots, who frown at Premium Times style of journalism, have uploaded their own certificates in solidarity with Adeosun and guess what? Theirs too carry the Bomoi imprimatur, months after he had left office.
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