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My personal views on Minister’s ‘fake’ NYSC Exemption Certificate…

By Ayodele Bakare

I have followed with keen interest (and a significant degree of trepidation), the unfolding drama concerning the genuineness (or not) of Madam’s NYSC Exemption Certificate. The issues can be summarised by these Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

1) Was the NYSC Certificate tendered by the Honourable Minister genuine or fake?

2) In the first place, was she legally entitled to such an exemption as at the time she obtained it? No pun intended with the word ‘obtained’.

3) If indeed there was a fraud, who perpetrated the crime? Should Madam be considered as the principal suspect, or merely an accomplice?

4) Does Madam enjoy immunity under the law, which makes it impossible for the relevant law enforcement agencies to promptly act, in fulfillment of their statutory obligations?

5) Or is the delayed reaction from the law enforcement agencies due to their ‘survival instinct’, occasioned by a desire to retain their current portfolios, since the ‘suspect’ is a high-ranking member of the ruling party?

6) Has the Honourable Minister indeed admitted to the crime, by virtue of a much-publicised ‘apology’ explaining her role in the debacle? Or is this purported admission merely media hype, or the work of detractors?

7) Subject to the outcome of relevant investigations, if the Honourable Minister is indeed guilty of a crime (directly or indirectly), under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, what should her reaction be, or that of her employers (the FGN)?

8) Should Madam resign, or should her employers (the FGN), fire her as is usually witnessed in saner climes, on the rare occasions that they have had to deal with public office holders caught in a moral debacle such as this?

9) Should she be made to face the consequences of her actions as prescribed by the law, or allowed a soft landing because of her exalted position?

10) There was the ‘Toronto’ Certificate drama, followed by a cascade of issues about many of our public figures parading paper qualifications discovered to be fake, or questionable at best. Is it time to begin to question the objectivity and thoroughness of our screening mechanisms (including SSS and Senate), who are routinely entrusted with the task of ensuring that our public office holders who pass through them, are indeed who they say they are, physically and by qualifications and documents submitted?

And on a parting note, I have noted the efforts of a few Yoruba and Women Groups, attempting to color the travails of the Honourable Minister as motivated by gender or tribal persecution. Well, I am not a woman, but I am proudly Yoruba. Therefore let me quote from my comment, which I made on the post of one of these ‘Groups’:

“May I react on behalf of all Yoruba. We feel nothing except the deepest shame and embarrassment for Madam’s unfortunate involvement in this whole debacle, and would never attempt to hinge her defense on tribal sentiments. Anyone claiming to do so on our behalf is simply a horse’s rear end.”

The Oracle is merely asking questions, not passing judgement.