In Defence Of Kemi Adeosun

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Personally, I will not be among those to crucify Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who until some few days ago, was Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. This is because, in our understanding, the woman was not alone in failing the integrity test, and she has even exceeded the moral principle of most Nigerians in public office by throwing in the towel.

Kemi Adeosun resigned her highly exalted position as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a result of the controversial circumstances upon which she obtained her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate. 

Kemi Adeosun who claimed not to be a Nigerian until she was 34 years old, was born and bred in the United Kingdom, even though her parents were of Nigerian origin. It was in the United Kingdom that Kemi Adeosun attended all her schools, and on graduation, started  to work there. 

As years went by, however, something in Kemi Adeosun’s genes began to tell her that she did come from Great Britain, or rather, that she had another home. She then began to search for her roots. In the process, she traced it to Nigeria, the country of her parents. Desirous to become part of the country, she got some friends who helped her to procure a Nigerian passport with which she began visiting Nigeria. 

In the course of those visits, Kemi Adeosun started doing something in the country. Because of her dutifulness and excellent performance, some people started liking her and began to project her to higher positions. First, she was nominated to serve as Commissioner in the Ogun State Government. 

Due to the fact that Kemi Adeosun must have to  be screened by members of the State House of Assembly to ascertain her eligibility for the job as required by law, she remembered that she did not possess a National Youth Servive Corps discharge certificate, nor was she issued with an exemption certificate (since she was then past 30 years of age, the mandatory age for participation in NYSC scheme), that is, before she became a Nigerian, she began to think of what to do. 

Luckily, those who were projecting her were on hand. They decided to approach the nearest printing house in town, to print for Kemi Adeosun, an NYSC discharge certificate. Armed with that “Agege NYSC Discharge Certificate“, she presented it to Ogun State House of Assembly, and was subsequently cleared. She was thereafter sworn in as Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State.

After four years as Commissioner in Ogun State, the same people who were pushing her decided to project her to a much higher position. It was during that time that she caught the attention of our President, who for nearly six months, was busy searching for people to make up his cabinet. She then picked Kemi Adeosun as one of his ministerial nominees. 

During the ministerial screening exercise by the National Assembly, Kemi Adeosun presented the same “Agege NYSC Discharge Certificate”, and was cleared. Everybody was happy. Consequently, her name was forwarded to the President as among those who passed the integrity test of the National Assembly. From there, the President took over, swore her in as Minister and assigned her the prestigious portfolio of Finance Ministry.

Having been in office for almost three years, Nigerians woke up to be told that Kemi Adeosun was using “Agege NYSC Discharge Certificate” as proof of service to her fatherland. In other words, that her NYSC discharge certificate was fake, and that Kemi Adeosun cheated. Everybody was amazed. 

Following several outcries by the media that the former Minister was using a fake NYSC Certificate, the Presidency woke up from slumber and set up an investigation panel. But before the report of the panel could be made public, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun tendered her resignation paper. Some people then began to yell, that the woman should be crucified. 

We then ask: why should Femi Adeosun be crucified? How about those other people who committed worse crimes, but did not resign? How about ‘Oga Patapata‘ himself, with his NEPA certificate? Did he resign? When we asked him to show us his certificate, he refused. Instead, he hired 27 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), to defend him.

What happened to the report of the panel set up by the Presidency to investigate the secret reinstatement of the dismissed former boss of Pensions Commission, Alhaji Maina? What about the report of the internal investigation by the Presidency with regards to the alleged unauthorized invasion of the National Assembly by former DSS Boss, Lawal Daura?

Is it because Kemi Adeosun has decided to resign honourably that she should now be crucified? Did she commit any crime which many others before her did not commit? In a society where everybody is a thief, a dishonest person is one who does not steal.

Perhaps, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun travails might have stemmed from the fact that she did not play ball, or had stepped on the shoes of some of his benefactors, those who helped her climb the ladder. It was then that they remembered that the woman was parading an “Agege NYSC Discharge Certificate” and decided to leak it to the press, to expose her. 

The Presidency might have also been interested in Kemi Adeosun’s resignation, after all her brother, when he was Acting President, also sacked the DSS boss, when the President was away. That was why the report investigating Kemi Adeosun’s malfeasance, was turned in almost immediately and showed to her, and the news that she had resigned sent to Daily Trust Newspaper, even before the ink in her paper dried up. 

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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