And if she simply sat back and waited for agents to procure the document for her, we then cannot but ask questions about her Britishness.
Her resignation looks choreographed. It bears all the imprints of an unwilling decision. You could suspect that she succumbed to some kind of coercion. Her declaration that she has become privy to the outcome of the investigation on the issue is even more suspect. How did she know the outcome of an investigation that was yet to be made public? Did someone from the investigating agency leak the report to her? If that were the case, that would amount to another form of infraction in a matter that is begging for remedy. Indeed, that should deepen the woes of the ex-minister. It could mean that her accomplices are still active. They are still ahead of the country in the effort to know the truth in this matter.
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On the surface of it, you could say that Kemi Adeosun did the honourable thing by resigning her appointment. You could praise her for doing what most Nigerians in public office would be most unwilling to do. But that is as far as it goes. A critical look at the situation would readily tell you that Adeosun was hardly ignorant of the dirty details of the matter as she would have us believe. The story that the certificate was procured for her by agents and that she did not know that it was fake, is hardly believable. That could scarcely be true of someone who was raised by a system that is clinical in every material particular. The system is not like ours where anything goes. The British system is governed by standards and modes of ethics. And it works, to a very large extent. People who are used to their environment and those of other civilised worlds marvel when they come in contact with the Nigerian order. They get shocked. More often than not, the typical Nigerian pities such people because they do not understand.
Now, for an Adeosun who said she returned to Nigeria at the age of 34, it should be taken for granted that she was fully formed, that she was British in character and disposition. If this is the case, and we know it is, we would have a Kemi Adeosun who, on return to the country, would approach the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on her own with a view to procuring an exemption certificate. She would not sit back in the comfort of her home and send people to the field to do for her what she ought to do herself. To do so would amount to a subversion and negation of the system that brought her up. Even if anyone offered to procure the document for her, she ought to be circumspect. She ought to raise questions. And if she simply sat back and waited for agents to procure the document for her, we then cannot but ask questions about her Britishness. Could she have just abandoned all that she imbibed in 34 years in one fell swoop? It is all questions and more questions begging for answers.
It is possible that Madam Adeosun turned a blind eye to the subversion of the Nigerian system as her own way of mocking the order. She must have learnt so fast on her return to Nigeria that the people hardly spare useful thoughts for their country. They do not believe the system will ever work. Under that kind of atmosphere, everyone does his own thing his own way. That makes the country an orphan. Indeed, Nigeria is like a fraction in search of its integer. Did Kemi Adeosun cash in on this Nigerian disorder?
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I suspect that that is the case. Were it not so, she would have acted otherwise.
Now that the former minister has admitted to the crime, should that be all there is to the matter? It should not be so. Someone or some people aided and abetted. Should they remain nameless and faceless? I do not think so. They should be unmasked. They should be made to face the law. Forgery is an offence under our laws. Those who run foul of the law should be brought to justice. It is when we do so that we can better understand the Kemi Adeosun story. To what extent was she truthful? To what extent was she lying? She should be made to help the law to locate and deal with those who have subverted its sacred provisions.
In fact, you could say that Madam Adeosun did not live by example. Since she has British background, she ought to have brought its fine aspects to bear on any environment in which she finds herself. But it would appear that whatever she imbibed in the United Kingdom stays in the kingdom. She does not bother to bring it to the third world such as Nigeria so that those who do not know can learn one or two things from the system that works. Rather than aspire towards this ideal, Madam Kemi chose the easy way out. She allowed the Nigerian system to swallow her without a whimper. She did not resist its negative overtones. She simply collapsed like a house of cards while the corrosive order stared her naked in the face.
If Nigeria were to be a proper country where the law is respected, the appropriate authorities would know what to do in this matter. They would follow up from where Adeosun stopped. The overall objective would be to ensure that those who run foul of the law do not go scot-free. But not so in Nigeria. Madam Kemi has submitted her letter of resignation and, we are told, jetted out of the country. That brings the matter to an end. No one will probe further. The matter is over. In a few days from now, bigger issues that will dwarf the Adeosun certificate forgery will come up. When that happens, we will throw Adeosun and her certificate into the ash heaps of history. There, it will be conveniently be abandoned and forgotten.
It is worthy of note that Adeosun, in her resignation letter, made reference to integrity. She said that the government she served under was interested in integrity in governance. She had to throw in the towel in order not to soil the reputation of the government. That is all right. But can the government, which she served take the matter to the next level? I believe it should. It should cleanse the Augean stable by purging itself of bad elements. When an infraction is seen to have been committed, it is incumbent on government to go the whole hog. It should charge those involved to court. Investigation should not last forever as is the case in the grass-cutting scandal of the former Secretary tho the Government of the Federation. When serious issues are swept under the carpet, it gives the impression that those who claim to be agents of integrity are merely playing to the gallery. They want to impress the uncritical public.
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I suggest that the Buhari administration should save its face by taking this and related matters to their logical conclusion. Let the sticky issues be divested of all their pugnaciousness. If it is able to do that, that would help in clearing part of the cobweb of doubt hanging on the horizon of government.
As a matter of fact, the NYSC should be interested in this matter. It should not be coerced or persuaded to do so. Its investigation, even though it has been preempted by Adeosun, should still be released officially. That would provide the law and its enforcers the anchor on which to rest in this matter.