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Pressure mounts on NYSC over #AdeosunGate

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Olisemeka Sony (With Premium Times Report)
The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) was reportedly under intense pressure since the publication of an exclusive story by Premium Times ex­posing how finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, avoided the obligatory national service and fraudulently obtained an ex­emption certificate.

Adeosun was yet to respond to the issues trailing her NYSC certificate saga, 72 hours after publication of the story or an­nounced her resignation de­spite widespread calls for her to quit or the government to sack or suspend her pending the outcome of investigation into the saga.

Mrs. Adeosun, who graduat­ed at 22 in 1989 from the Uni­versity of East London, ought not to have been issued with a Certificate of Exemption of the service. The minister does not fall in the category of those en­titled for exemption.
The story has generated out­rage from Nigerians who asked the minister to resign from her post or be fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Details published by the newspaper on Monday showed that the purported certificate was among the set of docu­ments submitted by the min­ister for her appointment and screening in 2015.

The NYSC management was forced to issue a terse statement on Monday issued distancing itself from the certificate paraded by Mrs Adeosun, albeit claiming that it was investigating its source. It, however, confirmed that the embattled minister applied for exemption certificate but that it would start investigation on the matter. The press state­ment, it was gathered, was extracted off the NYSC after a high-level lobbying and pres­sure mounted on the director general of the service, Sulei­man Kazaure.

Expectedly, most Nigeri­ans expressed dissatisfaction with the NYSC manage­ment’s tepid response to the saga, with many alleging there was behind-the-scene pressure for the institution to provide the minister a soft-landing on the saga.

There are also feelers from the NYSC headquarters that some intercessors who want the matter completely covered were suggesting misplacing the relevant NYSC register as a last resort. Mr Kazaure, a brigadier general, was said to have come under severe pressure since the publication on Saturday with a governor believed to be Mrs. Adeosun’s godfather repeatedly reaching out to the NYSC boss.

Also in the league to per­suade the NYSC to “help the minister out” is a senior gov­ernment minister. The minis­ter is said to be working round the clock “to avert a PR disas­ter for the government”.
The two politicians are said to be playing the cards of na­tional interest and the need to save the government from em­barrassment.

Kazaure is said to have re­sisted the initial pressure but was later cajoled to give a non-committal statement pending the presidency taking final position on the matter. “If you read the NYSC state­ment it is non-committal at all, although they tactically dis­owned the document,” said a source familiar with the issues. “They can come out tomorrow and say even though the wom­an applied, no certificate was issued. But if the pressure is sustained they can own up to the flawed certificate.”

The atmosphere at the NYSC secretariat was charged throughout Monday with se­nior officials locked in winding meetings to find a solution to the scandal at hand.

Two senior staff members of the NYSC lamented their pre­dicaments on Monday but nei­ther of them would reveal de­tails of what transpired in the series of meetings held at the headquarters of the service.

One of them confided that the day was hectic and horri­ble with clear demands for of­ficials to find a way out for the minister. “We senior people in NYSC are now caught in the web of intrigues,” one official said. “We don’t know how it will end but we are praying to God to help us. It has not been easy with us at all.”

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  • Is this the biggest problem we have? How does this explain the Neglect of the South East, South South and the killings in the middle belt. We have far more important issues than the rhetorical issues on NYSC which we are not sure is really adding value. Let’s look beyond our borders and see how other are moving forward…

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