The Minister of Finance, Mrs.
Kemi Adeosun, has been in the eye of media storm in the past couple of weeks.
The storm that is buffeting the honorable controller of the nation’s till has to do with the exemption certificate issued to her by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
It was an online medium, Premium Times, that raised the storm a few days ago and the social media storm troopers have been having a field day as usual.
The online medium had alleged that the honorable minister whose phonetics is unrivalled among the current cabinet members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration escaped the mandatory one-year service after graduating from the Polytechnic of East London (now University of East London) in 1989.
She was said to have failed to serve at the NYSC as required by the law.
Adeosun graduated at the age of 22 and only graduates who have swept past 30 are exempted from serving in the scheme.
The medium had reported that Mrs.
Adeosun applied to be exempted from the mandatory exercise and her certificate was issued on September 9, 2009 and signed by the director-general at the time, Brig.
Yusuf Bomoi, whereas Bomoi had left the NYSC in January 2009.
According to terse information released by the spokesperson of the Corps, Mrs.
Adeyemi Adenike, while reacting to the allegation, Mrs.
Adeosun actually applied for an exemption certificate from the organisation.
But the weighty allegation being levied against the minister is that she went ahead to forge her exemption certificate later.
I would not have lost my sleep over the storm.
It is not difficult to clear the air over such an allegation of forgery.
The NYSC folks should have their records.
All they need to do is to authenticate Mrs.
Adeosun’s claim or puncture it without any foot-dragging.
The delay will clothe the allegation with the garb of truth.
The reason why I’m losing my sleep is the Oluwole dimension (usually) added to such a drama.
Anytime a forgery storm is raised in this country, Oluwole easily comes handy as a metaphor for dishonesty.
There are many instances of forgery storm in recent years, especially since the nation returned to civilian administration in 1999.
Remember the Salisu Buhari saga.
Buhari was speaker of the House of Representatives early in the days of the Obasanjo administration.
The heavily-moustached young man claimed to have obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 1990; a Diploma in Accountancy from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1988 and served as a member of the NYSC in 1991.
He was also said to have forged his birth certificate, claiming 36 instead of 29 years of age.
All the claims were punctured by the investigation carried out by the The News Magazine.
As expected, all the forgeries were laid at the doorstep of Oluwole.
The metaphor is derived from the forgery syndicate located along Oluwole Street, Lagos.
Any documents hammered out at the location are believed to be near perfect…
almost foolproof! Forged documents include but not limited to certificates of all hues.
International passports, voters’ cards, cheque books, birth certificates, marriage/ divorce certificates, drivers’ licences, vehicle particulars, customs papers, in fact, anything under the sun can be printed by the syndicate that has seen many generations of The former minister of aviation, Mrs.
Stella Oduah, was also trapped between the lethal jaws of forgery in 2014 while serving in the regime of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Oduah, in her resume, claimed to have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from St.
Paul’s College, Lawrenceville, Virginia in the United States of America, obtained in 1983, and a PhD certificate from a phantom Pacific Christian University, Glendale, USA.
For those credentials obtained from faraway, United States of America, Oluwole was unfairly fingered.
The Sahara Reporters, an online medium, was the storm raiser at that time, just as the Premium Times is doing now in Mrs.
It took an Abuja High Court to rescue Sen.
Andy Uba from the crushing jaws of forgery.
He was alleged to have forged his way up with Oluwole certificates.
These three instances are the ones I can accommodate among the many cases you already knew about.
Tying all manner of forgeries to Oluwole is sheer defamation of character of all the bearers of the name.
Just look at me, for instance.
Is there anything forgeful about me? It is this metaphor that cost me a job I applied for in the early 2000s.
The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) had placed an advertisement for various positions.
All the way from Jos, I applied for the post of director of publications which I eminently qualified for.
They asked for a minimum of 20 years of cognate experience.
I could boast of 20 plus.
I also had MYE or many years of experience in printing and publishing.
I quoted many publications I had handled for state governments, tertiary institutions, agencies/ parastatals, high profile Nigerians, inclusive of banks.
I was a hundred percent sure I would be called for an interview.
But there was no word from Abuja, day in day out, week in week out, month in month out, year in and year out… till the time of writing this piece.
After waiting like someone hanging by the riverside expecting a crab to blink, I came to the conclusion that after the panelists had come across my surname, and considering the fact that I was into printing and publishing, they must have reasoned among themselves thus: “Surely, this must be the patriarch of the Oluwole dynasty, the Master Forger himself!” That must have earned my application a place in the trashcan! I don’t think they bothered to contact my referees to know who I really I was.
After that disappointment, I contemplated dropping the name Oluwole.
However, something kept preaching to me that since my conscience was/is very clear, why should I fear any metaphorical accusations? Perhaps I should mobilise all the Oluwoles of this world with a mission to disabuse the minds of fellow Nigerians with a diabolical sense of metaphorical humour.
In the alternative, we can seek a court injunction restraining anyone from using Oluwole as a metaphor for forgery.
Enough is enough!