Saki-born communications minister and All Progressives Congress, APC, gubernatorial aspirant,, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, skipped the mandatory national youth service scheme, an offence that may see him lose his position, Premium Times exclusively reports.
Barrister Shittu, failed to participate in the NYSC scheme despite graduating from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) at age 25, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
The revelation is coming to light about a week after Kemi Adeosun was compelled to step down from her post as Nigeria’s finance minister after the medium reported that she skipped national service and then procured a fake exemption certificate to cover her tracks.
Premium Times reported that the revealation was made after months of discreet checks at the NYSC headquarters which showed that the communications minister did not present himself for service after graduation and is yet to do so till date.
Saki-born Minister, Adebayo Shittu says he deliberately skips NYSC
Barr. Shittu admitted not participating in the compulsory scheme to Premium Times but claimed he thought his first political post after graduation could suffice as national service.
The medium said the excuse, lawyers and NYSC insiders described as ludicrous and untenable.
Skipping the compulsory national service is an offence under the NYSC law, punishable with up to 12 months imprisonment.
The minister said he believed that having been elected lawmaker, he needed not participate in the national service.
He said he deliberatively skipped the NYSC scheme because he was convinced that his membership of the state assembly was itself a “service”.
“The constitution provides for the qualification needed for state assembly members, NYSC is not there,” Mr. Shittu said. “I didn’t need it to become a member of the state assembly, and that is already a service,” he said.
Mr Shittu disagreed with PT reporter who laboured to explain to him that the NYSC Act makes participation in the scheme mandatory for all graduates like him and that election or appointment to political office does not qualify as a basis for exemption.