Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, must have had a long and agitating weekend after it was reported in a publication that she had allegedly forged her National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate, an accusation which could lead ultimately to her resigning her post in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.
While the weekend must have become clouded, the week was rendered even more cloudy for her as the same publication went on to publish the supposed forged certificate along with the credentials she submitted to various authorities after being nominated for the Finance Ministry’s top post in 2015.
Adeosun is accused of getting a forged exemption certificate from the NYSC even though she did not qualify for any of the reasons one could get an exemption from the mandatory service year for – anyone who graduates at 30 years and above, or is a relative of a person who has been serving in the armed forces for at least nine months is qualified for exemption.
In the aftermath of the grave allegation, Adeosun has remained curiously silent just as neither the Finance Ministry nor the Presidency have released any statement at the time of this article in response to the messy allegation raised by the publication.
The NYSC on its part released a statement signed by its Director of Press and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adenike, in which it was confirmed that Adeosun applied for exemption. However, regarding the authenticity of the certificate in question, NYSC only stated it would investigate the origin of it.
Coming just seven months before the general elections, at a time the country has been rated as the country with the highest number of poor people in the world, just few weeks after the 2018 budget was finally approved, and when about 40 opposition parties including the People’s Democratic Party and Reformed All Progressives Congress (a breakaway group from the APC), Adeosun’s silence leaves the Nigerian economy on the verge of suffering a damaging blow or barely surviving a raging storm.
Adeosun’s first words to the public since the allegation was made have become crucial; deflecting and not addressing the issue would likely be taken as a calculated move to distract the public, resigning from her position as Minister would obviously be an admission of guilt, and a statement denying such a strong allegation would only leave the door ajar for more cans of worms to be opened.
Whatever the Finance Minister’s response would be, her character has now been put out to be smeared in a hostile political environment as Nigeria’s, just as it serves as a major blow in President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid seeing how this has happened to one of his core cabinet members.