The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said that he did not violate the Constitution by not participating in the compulsory one year National Youth Services Corps (NYSC) scheme.
The minister stated this while speaking with newsmen on Friday in Abuja, arguing that his case could not be compared to that of the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
The minister, who is one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in Oyo State, spoke after being interviewed by the APC screening committee.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the media had been awash with reports that the minister did not participate in the mandatory one year NYSC program after his graduation from the University in 1978. The compulsory NYSC programme began in 1973.
Former minister of finance, Adeosun resigned last week Friday following allegations that she forged the NYSC exemption certificate.
Shittu stressed that whereas the former Minister of Finance submitted a fake NYSC exemption certificate, he didn’t obtain any certificate.
He added that he considered his service at the Oyo State Assembly as, “a higher service”. He said that he had not infringed on any law in the country’s Constitution by skipping NYSC.
“Nigerian Tribune even reported that I left University in 1979, but in actual sense , I left in 1978 and left Law School in 1979.
“And the Constitution says anyone who qualifies to contest an election or who has gone through an election and wins, he is obligated to move through the House of Assembly which I did for four years.
“So it is a form of higher service as far as I’m concerned, and even now, I am still in service.
“I don’t think I have violated the law except someone has a superior argument and can prove it,” the minister said.
He stressed that his case was not like that of Adeosun, because according to him, there are differences.
“Unfortunately, Kemi had a fake certificate, I didn’t present any… I didn’t have one.
“I simply followed the constitutional requirement that if you are qualified to contest an election, it is compulsory for you to serve the nation in the capacity that you won an election,” he said.