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OPINION: Sagay’s Dirty Talk on NYSC and the Bid to Protect Kemi Adeosun– by ‘Yanju Uwala



In the last few months, the call for scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was a major news trend, among every other reasons for the call was because the main objective of the service has been undermined, while some people do use it to enrich themselves at the expense of others, but despite all these calls, the service still has its merits to the nation as a whole, at least it make graduates to visit other places around the country, which they never visited before and of course, some found a living there. However, the purpose which is to bring the country together as a form of unity as proposed by its founder, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) in 1973.

To be sincere with ourselves, I won’t support the call for scrapping of the scheme but what are those things that must be done to prevent a call for its end.

The NYSC in the recent times have start becoming a tool to strengthen corruption practices in the country. Does that means, it is outliving its usefulness? Graduates now under service now pay money to some people to abscond serving, yet they pay these ghost-serving graduates, in which the money is being shared among the duos, also people now redeploy from where they were earlier posted to another place that seems favourable to them, in as much cash is involved, no problem.


Now, can these be a reason for the reaction of the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Professor Itse Sagay, who recently downplayed the relevance of the scheme saying it is irrelevant or is it mainly for the purpose of rescuing the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on the purported exemption certificate forgery against her. The answer remains indelible, as far as I am concerned, as to whether Sagay’s comment is solely to support the Finance minister’s course.

While speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on the UK Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO), Sagay has said “who cares about youth service? I don’t bloody care whether she did youth service or not. It’s irrelevant as far as I am concerned. I don’t believe it. I don’t see anything serious about not doing youth service. I don’t see anything serious about it. That is my own bias, not government’s” (

Though, you may say he made his own opinion known on the issue but sometimes as a government official, words spoken on the public platform means many to the listeners of such statement, not just because he is making his opinion, if we can remember vividly President Muhammadu Buhari, made his own opinion too on why he sees late dictator, Sanni Abacha, as a mentor, but the public opinion threw bashes against him, so same applies to the PACAC Chairman on this issue. Why is a government official castigating the purpose of NYSC, either as an individual or as government official, what message is he passing to the creator of the scheme? What message is he sending to those who have passed through the one year service or those who are yet to go? What about those who valued the scheme, what message is he sending to them?


In this respect, I humbly made it known that Itse Sagay, made an irresponsible statement on his part, and by this, he is trying to shield the body from carrying out their investigation on the purported forgery scandal; even as they are yet to give a feed back after few weeks when the news broke.

In shedding more light now, the administration under which he works is believed to be fighting corruption, but these singular acts of its arch men are found wanting in the call for the crusade against corruption, isn’t this a shame to the administration?

We all remember that this administration rode on the platform of morality, change and making people live better, but what we are getting is direct opposite of what we are promised. And if these had been made by an opposition, we wouldn’t have look into well, since we knew the kind of people they are.


The professor of constitutional law, has really violated the rule surrounding table manners, of which one doesn’t talk while eating, hence he will utter out gibberish.

The article is solely opinion of the writer and not of the

Yanju Uwala is a writer and journalist


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