For the unaware, it is old news happening to new people; but to those aware, it is no longer news that the embattled Nigerian Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has resigned. 

Her resignation is as a result of the wave of the allegations in some quarters that she had forged her NYSC exemption certificate which she submitted to National Assembly during her screening in Abuja. Since the veil of her NYSC certificate saga was blown open on online media platforms, there were pressures on her to resign to save herself from shame; since the very government under which she was serving is seemingly built on the rocky soil of integrity and anti-corruption. 

Following this development, many Nigerians have been reacting to her decision to lay down her crown as the overseer of Nigeria’s treasure house. Some people have praised her action as a show of honesty and integrity while other are calling for her arrest and prosecution since certificate forgery is a criminal offence, her remorse and resignation notwithstanding. 
Those who are applauding Kemi Adeosun’s action may not be wrong given the moral undertones that characterized her outline background to the forgery saga. Morally, you and I know what a typical Nigerian or African public office holder would have done if found in her shoes. Such a distinguished finance minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would have fought tooth and nail to gum his or her buttock on that golden seat in an office that contains all the secret keys and access code to the financial chaste of Nigeria—one of the world oil rich nations. Oh my! Such an individual would have come out publicly on national radio stations to refute such allegation. A normal serving Nigerian minister of finance would have cruised in the latest bullet proofed jeep and adorned himself/herself in the latest Italian suits or golden jewelries to local and international TV stations to clad the nude truth about the saga with the latest garment of lies, ornamented with sugary grandiose Queen English diction, smeared with sugary Received Pronunciation, and Chomskyan grammar with apt syntactic structures. Millions of 21st century digital cameras would have illuminated this deceptive countenance with flickering blissful beam while international journalists would throng one another asking further questions or clarifications.


Although one cannot wave aside the tranquil nudge of skepticism shrouded in her open confession since it cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt whether or not what she said in her resignation letter is the inerrant truth. Neither can we shy away from the fact that her decision to resign is not total pious given the delay or timing in which it came.  But can we excuse it on the basis of the consciousness that she is a fallible human being? The open remorseful confession contained in her resignation letter which was addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari also suffices a good libation to appease the gods that inhabit the sledge hammer of my judgment. In her letter, Adeosun indeed reaffirms that “I believe that in line with this administration’s focus on integrity, I must do the honourable thing and resign”. She is indeed an honourable woman (not in Shakespeare’s Mark Antony’s sense).  She deserves little sympathy from Nigerians given the fact that she failed to understand the complexity of the country in which she was born. This is Nigeria! A country in which everything goes! So being a Journey Just Come (JJC) in Nigerian politics, she confesses her ignorance of the Nigerian factor saying, “I was born and raised in the United Kingdom… I obtained my first Nigerian passport at the age of thirty – four (34) and when I relocated there was debate as to whether NYSC Law applied to me. Upon enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age of thirty (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve”.
From the foregoing it is true that our now former minister of finance qualified to be given the said NYSC exemption certificate. But how she went about it is what sew the mustard seed of her downfall on the 14h of September, 2018. The obvious question is why she decided to contract someone else to process her said certificate. Even if it was on the basis of “that advice and with the guidance and assistance of those, I thought were trusted associates”, and the subsequent approached of NYSC “for documentary proof of status” as she explained, why didn’t she thoroughly verified the authenticity of the certificate she received from them. 

Although she tried to defend her action by admitting her ignorance of the Nigerian factor that she had “never worked in NYSC, visited the premises, been privy to nor familiar with their operations, so “I had no reason to suspect that the certificate was anything but genuine”, She is still not absorbed of blame because given her family and education upbringing as a “UK breed” she was supposed to use her oyinbo senses to discern between a genuine and fake NYSC exemption certificate. Or could it be that she was unaware of the irregularities and duplicities that go on among NYSC officials? There had been cases of some NYSC officials collecting bribes to post potential corpse members to certain places of their choices in Nigeria. Didn’t she read about Nigerians who have never seen the four walls of a university yet bypass the eagle eyes of security personnel and NYSC officials and successfully completed the mandatory one-year service and obtained certificates? Perhaps, her then British media failed in their usual objective journalistic reportage at carrying stories about young gangsters who are sometimes caught in NYSC khaki on orientation camps trying to be registered for the one-year service. So her inability to keep abreast of these trends may have informed her decision to gladly accept a fake NYSC certificate as genuine one from whomever she contacted or sought his or her advice to help process it when she relocated to Nigeria.

By and large, we cannot keep on hailing live fire-spitting charcoals of blame on our now Ex-Finance Minister. She is human and subject to error of judgment. I believe she might have learnt her lesson having been put into unsolicited shame, verbal rants and spotlight by Nigerians on the mainstream media and social medial plat forms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. In a nutshell, she should bite her finger in regret to her error of judgment and at the same time, hold her head high for her accomplishment while in office. Although our economy is now worse than she met it. Nigerians should also learn from her mistakes and strengths, especially some of the corrupt Hitlers who even when found guilty of certain financial crimes or scandals would fight tooth and nail to remain in power.
©The Pensmith

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