…Says tenure at Oyo Assembly higher than NYSC
…PDP calls for Shittu’s sack, arrest
The Minister of Communications, Chief Adebayo Shittu, has stated that the story on his skipping of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) cannot be compared to that of the erstwhile Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
Shittu, in his first public reaction since the story of his skipping of NYSC came to the public domain, insisted that while the former Finance Minister’s certificate was said to be fake, he did not obtain any certificate.
He also claimed that he considered his service at the Oyo State House of Assembly, a higher service than the NYSC.
Speaking with journalists after his screening process at the ongoing Screening exercise for the APC gubernatorial aspirants in Abuja on Friday, Shittu said he had not infringe any law in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said: “Nigerian Tribune even reported that I left university in 1979 but in actual sense, I left in 1978 and left Nigerian Law School in 1979 and the constitution says anyone who qualifies to contest an election or who has gone through an election and wins,
he is obligated to move through the House of Assembly which I did for four years, so it is a form of higher service as far as I’m concerned and even now, I am still in service”.
When asked if he is worried over the scandal, he said: “I’m not worried. Do you see any worry on my face? I don’t think so except someone has a superior argument and he proves it”.
He further stressed that his case was not like that of Kemi Adeosun, adding that “there are walls of difference. Unfortunately, Kemi had a fake certificate, I didn’t present any, I didn’t have one.
I simply followed the constitutional requirement that if you are qualified to contest an election, it is compulsory for you to serve the nation in the capacity that you won an election”.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the latest revelation that Shittu evaded the compulsory one-year NYSC has validated its position that President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet stinks with persons of questionable character.
The party castigated President Buhari for appointing fraudulent persons to hold key offices in his government, which has placed a weighty integrity burden on the ‘Mr. Clean’ posture of the President.
The PDP insisted that President Buhari has the moral burden of explaining what gains he derives from appointing fraudulent characters into very sensitive positions, a development that questions his integrity as a leader.
“President Buhari should provide answer to allegations that such individuals are being used as henchmen to fritter away trillions of naira from our treasury to service All Progressives Congress (APC) interests and the Presidency cabal.
“Nigerians know how President Buhari refused to sack, let alone prosecute the disgraced erstwhile Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, despite her culpability in certificate forgery and how the agents of the Federal Government escorted her out of the country to prevent her from opening up on the humongous corruption in the Buhari Presidency.
“Mr. President has also not declared why he has refused to sack or prosecute his Special Assistant on Prosecution and Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, despite declaration by the West African Examinations
Council (WAEC) that he parades a fake certificate.
“This is in addition to official cover which the Buhari Presidency provides for corrupt officials in various sectors, including the Petroleum Ministry,
where over N10 trillion is alleged to have been stolen under fictitious contracts and sleazy oil subsidy deals as well as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), where indicted officials were reinstated by the Presidency,” said the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Friday.
The party said the minister’s defence of his criminal act speaks volume of the impunity in the Buhari administration which has continued to paint the nation black in the international arena, leading to the current dearth in foreign direct investments and development partnership to the country.
The party charged the police to immediately charge Shittu, while President Buhari should note that Nigerians have lost confidence in his anti-corruption fight.