By Danus ocholi
The last may not have been heard on the alleged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate forgery scandal involving the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adesoun, as the Director General of the NYSC, Director-General, Brigadier Suleiman Zakari Kazaure, may have threatened to resign his appointment, following pressure on him to compromise in the matter, DAILY ASSET learnt at the weekend.
Kazaure, whose agency is at the centre of the storm, was alleged to have been pressurised by some influential government officials to “cooperate” with the Minister to save her from the imminent ridicule the scandal portends.
An online Newspaper had in a report, alleged that Adeosun allegedly forged her exemption certificate after graduating from the London Polytechnic at an age below 30 years, which the law establishing the NYSC required of her to have participated in the mandatory one-year national service.
She was was alleged to have committed the act in sometime in 2009 and has been working with the alleged forged certificate as Minister of Finance and as Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State.
DAILY ASSET learnt that the NYSC DG who was “conscripted” to write a “favourable report” on the matter to ”clear the air” was said to have “grudgingly cooperated” as he said it was against his religious belief to misrepresent facts in a matter like this.
He was said to have ran to the influential Emir Kano, Lamido Sanusi II on his plans to quit the job if he was again prevailed upon by some government officials to “cooperate” on the matter.
However, the Emir is said to have advised the DG against throwing in the towel and rather advised him to “wait and watch developments as they unfold”.
Spokesman of the NYSC, Adeyemi Adenike, had said the agency was looking into the matter, days after the story broke. He could not be reached to comment on the resignation threat of his boss as his phone was switched off and SMS sent was not responded to.
In an earlier statement however, NYSC’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adenike, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency may have advised the Minister in the eye of the storm, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to resign her appointment, a source in the Presidency told DAILY ASSET.
According to the source, President Buhari who was briefed on the matter by a top aide was said to have expressed disappointment and said the Minister should be advised to voluntarily resign to save the government the likely embarrassment.
In anticipation of the Minister’s resignation, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is said to have nominated a candidate to succeed the embattled Minister, sources familiar with the situation told DAILY ASSET.
Special adviser on media to the minister of finance, Yinka Akintunde, responded to neither calls nor SMS sent to his mobile line on the matter, at the time of going to press.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) not to be used to cover up alleged forgery of NYSC certificate by Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
The PDP gave the advice in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.
The PDP statement is coming on the heels of mounting suspicion among Nigerians that something is wrong with the purported Exemption certificate. They wondered why it has taken NYSC this long to make a categorical statement on whether the certificate in question was forged or not.
Mr. Edward Dibia, a psychologist said the more the NYSC delays on the matter the more it appears that the minister was culpable. “It is simple psychology and it has to do with the way the human mind works. The NYSC is making a simple matter complex by delaying its verdict on the matter. It would seem that the NYSC is trying to cover up something untoward about the certificate. They are not helping the minister because the public has been given enough ground to even doubt whatever defence the NYSC may come up with”, he told our reporter.
The PDP said it was instructive for NYSC to note that all issues in the news media reported that Adeosun forged her NYSC Exemption Certificate.
It pointed out that reports that the Presidency was mounting pressure on NYSC to cover up for the minister was already in the public domain.
“Moreover, Nigerians are closely monitoring this issue and the public is already aware of pressure on NYSC leadership to announce a misplacement of relevant files and other excuses to achieve a dead end in the investigation.
“The NYSC must, therefore, know that its reputation is highly at stake as Nigerians are already agitated over the questionable delay by NYSC in coming out with an answer on a direct issue.
“Indeed, a simple process of matching the serial numbering, date and authorizing signature on Mrs Adeosun’s certificate does not require a lengthy investigation or the current shenanigan going on at the NYSC headquarters.
“NYSC is advised to have in mind that in this age of global Information Communication Technology (ICT), there is nothing anybody can do to suppress or distort facts, even in the public service,” Ologbondiyan added.
The spokesman said any attempt to cover up would invoke the wrath of Nigerians and “irredeemably rubbish” the integrity and respect the Scheme had earned over the years.
It added that the NYSC must therefore not allow its reputation to be dragged in the mud.