The Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, is expected to submit his resignation to President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to participate in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
Shittu who had been elected as a lawmaker shortly after his graduation from Obafemi Awolowo University had said he did not see a need to participate in the national service because his membership of the state assembly was itself a service.
The Punch newspaper is reporting that the President has asked the embattled minister to do the “needful.” The paper said that the President made it clear that the Minister did not have to wait for him to ask before he did what was expected.
However, the Minister, in a conversation with a reporter from The Punch, said he had not heard anything from the President and had only heard about it for the first time from the reporter.
Shittu’s NYSC ordeal comes shortly after Kemi Adeosun resigned from her position as the Minister of Finance over a similar issue. The one difference is that whereas Shittu did not even bother about a certificate; Adeosun paraded a forged certificate.
The NYSC has however stated that there are only four categories of people who are allowed to be exempted from service, they include those who graduated after their 30th birthday, those who served in the military or the police for at least nine months, as well as the staff of intelligence agencies. Finally, those conferred with national honors before graduation are also exempted from the scheme.
Clearly, Shittu’s situation did not meet any of the criteria for exemption and should consequently not be exempt from turning in his resignation.
All this leave only three questions left to ask:
- What is the purpose of the DSS Security screening and the senate confirmation hearings if they are unable to spot issues like this and have to rely on the media to break it? Of what use are those institutions?
- What is next for Shittu? These are not the best of times for him. He was recently disqualified from contesting for the Oyo State governorship primaries as a result of the NYSC saga. If he is forced to resign, would he leave the APC?
- Why does the president have to wait so long to take actions against those in his circle found to have broken the law?