The last time finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, posted anything on social media was June 19. It was not long after that that Premium Times newspaper broke the news that she forged her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate.
The story developed a life of its own and became a storm. But through it all, as activists ranted and Nigerians raged, Adeosun remained still. She uttered not a single word in rebuttal or acknowledgement. It appeared that her calculation was that all she needed to do was lay low and remain silent until the next scandal moves Nigerians away from her case.
So throughout the month of July, she said nothing. Neither did her boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yesterday, at long last, in the midst of the National Assembly siege and the political defections, she figured that the time was ripe to find her voice again.
She said nothing about the scandal. Instead she announced that she presented two memos at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval. The two memos included one for a $150 million World Bank credit facility in support of polio eradication, and another for the procurement of three units of Rapiscan Mobile Cargo Scanner-Eagle M60, which she said will help the Nigeria Customers Service (NCS) screen containers at the ports.
What a response from the FG!
For a government which touts its purported zero tolerance policy towards corruption, the refusal to take action against the minister concerning the weighty allegation has not gone unnoticed by Nigerians. Forgery is a criminal offence, and considering that the minister has not denied the charges against her, it is shocking that Pres. Buhari continues to retain her in his cabinet.
It should be pointed out that the minister of information, culture and tourism, Lai Mohammed, recently stated that no action has been taken against Adeosun because the matter is still being investigated. However, there are no details of this investigation, and the reality is even curious because the minister has not denied.
As Adeosun broke her silence yesterday, Twitter users recalled the scandal and lambasted her for her silence. The attacks showed that even though the outrage has subsided in frequency, it has not gone away.
“I initially thought you will provide critical information on the forgery… Go and clear your name ma. Save your face and maintain your integrity if you have one,” a Twitter user told the minister yesterday in response to her tweet. Another one called her “the mother of certificate forgery.”