By Eric Elezuo
While it may not be a crime to skip national youth service popularly known as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in the real sense of the word, it is a punishable offence when its certificate is forged for official purposes. And so is the case of the current Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who was exposed by an online media last weekend as having skipped the scheme and in the bargain forged a certificate of exemption, which she has blatantly brandished over the years in the course of her professional career.
Adeosun’s exposition has not come without its normal political undertones as opponents and supporters have climbed upon one another in either condemning her actions or saying ‘it doesn’t matter’ as long as she is performing her duties to the best of her abilities.
However, the accent spoken Minister need not be bothered about her detractors, who at this time has a genuine reason to call for her sack and possible prosecution. The reason is not far-fetched; the Buhari-led administration is not known to punish their own, no matter how grave their offences might be. After all, it’s over 20 days since the fraud was exposed!
Cases abound of glaring impunity, which has either been overlooked or swept under the carpet by the powers that be. You are innocent so long as you are on the ‘right’ side of the divide – where those that call the shots are. Nigerians will not forget in a hurry how it was difficult to discipline the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. David Babachir, for allegedly inflating contract sums. The man himself asked ‘who is the presidency?’ when he was confronted with presidential punishment from the government by the press. Reports had it that he was allowed to leave on his own terms when pressure from the public became heightened. He even supplied his own replacement. Today, the matter is like it never happened.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has on many occasions failed to honour the summons of the Senate, and no one in government has deemed it right to call him to order or give him the marching orders. He is still revelling in his ignominy, and even reportedly refused to obey the President who asked him to relocate to Benue in the wake of the January 1 (New Year Day) massacre.The President confessed that he never knew the IG failed to obey the instruction, yet, no reprimand of any sort. There is also the Controller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali, who damned the Senate to continue to wear mufti as a paramilitary head. The government of the day remained mute till today.
The case of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, is a study on its own. The government has continued to hold on to him even as the National Assembly rejected him as a substantive chairman of the commission.
The list is endless, and if they are still enjoying the goodwill of the Buhari administration, Madam Finance Minister should not have any worry. Her godfathers are in the corridors of power. Even if her entire academic certificate is discovered today to be fake, no harm whatsoever will come to her. That is the country we have become. And as the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, puts it, ‘this is the last word on the matter’.
So Madam Minister, do not be afraid. You are covered.