I will not bore you with news about all that transpired and led to the resignation of a Federal Minister. I believe we have all read that in the mainstream media and of course social media.  One thing is clear, the NYSC laws have to change or made clearer as regards the many Nigerians born and bred abroad. And this should be done immediately. What I sometimes wonder is if Ms. Kemi Adeosun knew that her NYSC certificate was indeed fake but went on to present it to the House of Assembly at Ogun State and then the Senate at Abuja for confirmation for the Federal appointment. I guess we will never really know what the truth is. I am inclined to believe that she knew but was assured that no one would ever find out but alas… .

Having family and friends that grew up abroad and then came back to Nigeria to work, I know a lot of them do not like undergoing the youth program, most would say they will always work in the private sector and never in government. But, I personally encourage them to do it just in case of opportunities in the future.   

What this tells me is something an elderly colleague used to say jokingly but quietly and it is on consistency and being thorough in our dealings. When Ms. Adeosun became a Federal Minister, if she ever knew that this would happen three years down the line, she probably would not have accepted the appointment, but I believe the whole saga could have been handled differently and in a better way. She could have held a press conference and presented herself for the NYSC program. Nigerians would have hailed her and probably made a joke of it and life would go on.  I don’t think she should have walked away so quickly; that lady had a lot going and I wonder what programs would have been truncated as a result of her departure.

I am not making a case for her, what I want to draw from this is the need to be diligent and forthright especially if we seek for higher offices in a politically charged country like Nigeria. I have been told that no one is a saint and if anyone is interested in getting someone out of the way, there’s a way to always dig up dirt on one another. While this is true, whatever dirt that is being dug up does not have to sink one or ones career.

Overall, the big lesson once again is not to take anything and anyone for granted. When the certificate became a bone of contention, I would have sought clarification from the NYSC Director-General with a view to get advice on what to do to obtain an authentic certificate. I then would make them sign a document that there is an on-going agreement on doing A, B and C and would have informed my Boss, in this case, the President about the challenge at hand. I think Ms. Adeosun kept quiet for too long until her silence became uncomfortable for everyone. For the two months that she failed to address the issue, wishing the whole saga away; her integrity was constantly called to question. Someone around me would joke and wonder what else she may have forged as a Commissioner and a Minister. Brothers and sisters, the lesson therein is the need to be conscientious, meticulous, attentive and detailed in whatever we do and to know that whatever evil we cover up will show its ugly head one day. Let always stand for truth, for diligence and be committed to doing what is right.  Also, when we get to a certain level professionally and in life, and there is need for damage control, one can seek help. Don’t let us be fooled that time will sweep things under the carpet; we can confront our problems frontally and get a solution. We should never be too big to ask for help. Never wait until issues become unbearable and get out of hand. Ultimately, let us cultivate the habit of being upright, straight forward and decent. One small mishap could cost one a whole lot as it happened here. May Allah (swt) put us in position of honour in life and the hereafter and may we have all the credentials and capacity to occupy such places. Ameen.


Keem Harun-Adeleye

Founder/Editor in Chief,

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