#AdeosunGate Nigerians criticise Buhari, demand action

Nigerians have continued to ventilate their anger on President Muhammadu Buhari, his administration, and the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, for choosing to ignore a certificate forgery scandal involving the minister.

Frontline Nigerian newspapers have written editorials in the last two weeks, amplifying calls by Nigerians for the government and Mrs Adeosun to come out clean on the scandal.

On June 7, Premium Times reported that the minister did not participate in the mandatory one year national service, National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), despite her eligibility for it, but went on to forge an exemption certificate.

When the news broke, Nigerians online expressed outrage demanding Mrs Adeosun defend herself or step down from her post. Some also asked President Buhari to ease her out if she could not fault the facts contained in the story.

However, three weeks since the story was published, both the government and Mrs Adeosun have maintained what one newspaper called “audacious contempt” for Nigerians on the scandal.

The Punch, in an editorial published on Friday said the silence of Mrs Adeosun and the government is “very disrespectful of the right of Nigerians to know”.

But while the government apparently hopes ignoring the issues raised will push it to oblivion, it appears Nigerians are not willing to let it pass, going by the incessant demands for probity on the matter.

“Adeosun has kept an un-dignified silence about so grave an allegation and her employers, the Federal Government, has been wooly-mouthed in its comment on the matter,” wrote The Guardian (Nigeria) in a July 25 editorial.

In the days since the story was first published, at least two former officials of the NYSC – a retired director of mobilisation, and a former director general of the Corps, publicly faulted possibility of Mrs Adeosun obtaining such document from the NYSC.

Maharazu Tsiga, who was the NYSC boss as at September 2009, the period Mrs Adeosun’s purported certificate was allegedly issued,said that there was no way such a thing could happen, stressing that service is mandatory for anyone who graduated within the required age.

Days after the scandal broke out, it was reported that officials of the NYSC were being pressured to find a soft landing for Mrs Adeosun and blame the embarrassing scandal on some scapegoats.

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