No public appearances, no public address, nothing…
Following in the footsteps of her ex-military boss, it appears the proverbial cat has got Kemi Adeosun’s tongue.
News that the “honorable” minister of Finance forged her NYSC exemption letter, broke a few weeks ago and was met with a lot of backlash as one would expect.
But with precedent set by her boss to stay annoyingly mute as controversy swirls, Kemi Adeosun said nothing to either refute or validate the claim. I personally heard about the news one fine morning while listening to uncle Jimi Disu on the radio.
As is to be expected, I went through the typical cycle I believe most Nigerians experience after hearing bad news about our leaders. I got pissed, I went to social media for some good old “slacktivism” and lastly when the news got old, I filed it away in the recesses of my mind as one of those things.
Of course none of us want things to pan out that way.
We cite life’s vicissitudes as the reason why we aren’t as consistently vocal as we should, but that is a conversation for another day.
The bone of contention here and I think many Nigerians would agree with me, isn’t just that the minister is a member of the Buhari administration. This is an administration many elected on the grounds of integrity. It’s the choice to be silent that irks a lot of people it’s almost like the government is saying, “there’s nothing you can do” It is insulting to Nigerians that in the midst of such a huge controversy, the Honorable mister sees no need to address us.
The burning flame of Nigerians collective angst was fanned when the minister retuned to twitter after her scandal induced hiatus. She tweeted on her handle HKMkemiadeosun about a presentation of two memos for approval to the Federal executive council (FEC),
Nigerians quickly clapped back, proving that the Twittersphere in this neck of the woods is indeed a treacherous place if one doesn’t come correct.
Now, apart from the flagrant disregard for Nigerians that Minister clearly displays, my own gripe with her is a little petty.
Now my NYSC year was great. I met some of my very best friends during this period, I also fell in love for the very first time. It was a period of many teaching moments which in one way or the other informed the sort of person I am today, and since were being candid I’m a pretty alright chick if I do say so myself.
But my service year also came with a truckload of BS. Poor bathroom facilities (ehem, shot-putting anyone?) receiving orders from soldiers, horrible accommodation conditions, esoteric lectures under the unrelenting sun, the list is endless. And even at that, It turns out my experience was something of a dream compared to what an overwhelming majority of Nigerians experience during their service year.
From deaths occurring due to plying dangerous roads to access their postings, to the risk of exposure to all sorts of infections from sometimes highly unsanitary conditions. We must all go through this, except some lucky members formally exempted by the state based on grounds ranging from health, to one’s age as at the time of graduation from the university.
We give up a year of our lives we can never get back, for the sole purpose of eligibility for employment. Anyone who employs a person without an NYSC certificate or a valid exemption letter, is in contravention of sections 12, 13 and 14 of the NYSC Act which is an integral part of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
So, Kemi Adesoun needs to understand that this scandal will not go quietly into the night. We demand that she either comes forward to refute the claim leveled against her with solid evidence, or resign.
Let someone who experienced the same thing myself and many other Nigerians did, take her place.
Credit: Tobi Akhanamoya
Tobi Akhanamoya is your typical millennial. She loves selfies, has an occasional penchant for punctuating with cuss words and wants to “change the world”.
She works as a corporate communications officer at MTN Nigeria by day and by night? Well….you’ll find her asleep on her comfy bed and fluffy pillow after a long hard day of stirring up controversy.
Instagram : @Osione_Akhanamoya