The new Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, has admitted that she is a corps member following the call for her removal over her active status in the scheme.
Musawa insisted that she had not broken any part of the laws of the National Youths Service Corps in a statement titled, “My personal statement on my status as a serving minister” made available to The PUNCH on Sunday noting that her appointment by President Bola Tinubu has followed a barrage of media attacks and misinformation about her.
She said, “It is true I am currently a corps member which I began eight months ago as a matter of duty and devotion to my country, having been unable to complete the scheme since I was first mobilised in 2001.
“There is no breach of any law or constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended regarding my current position as a minister and status as serving corps member.”
While alluding to the constitution and the NYSC Act, the minister said, “No part of any of them states that a serving corps member can not be appointed by the President of Nigeria or any other appointing authority into political positions.
“Equally, no part of our existing laws and NYSC Act says that a corps member must finish service before they can be appointed into political office. There are no legal or constitutional limitations whatsoever. I have not broken any law of Nigeria.”
She also mentioned the ruling of Justice Taiwo in a case before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja in 2021 that stipulated that one is not required to present a first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate to be appointed a minister in the country.
Speaking about the delay in her NYSC programme, Musawa said, “I started the mandatory national service as a corps member deployed to Akwa-Ibom State in 2001 upon the completion of my university education. I could not complete the service the same year after my redeployment to Kaduna State due to family obligations.
“Despite this, it has been my personal resolve and commitment that I will always fulfil this national duty whenever I am opportune to do so.
“I applied to NYSC to be mobilised again for national service last year. NYSC graciously mobilised and deployed me to serve in Abuja where I have been serving for the last eight months before my current appointment as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” she added.
The minister, however, called on Nigerians to support her in the new assignment as she looks forward to completing her NYSC programme in the next four months.