A group, the Save Nigeria Movement (SNM) has commended the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for maintaining its integrity posture despite manipulations against it by some politicians.
The SNM, led by Solomon Semaka while briefing newsmen in Abuja cautioned Enugu Governor-elect, Peter Mbah, against tarnishing the image of the NYSC
He said, “It is no longer news that Mbah has been enmeshed in an NYSC certificate forgery scandal to which he has made frantic efforts to correct, albeit distort information on the subject matter with the intent to mislead Nigerians. So this media briefing is to update Nigerians, especially the people of Enugu State, on the true position of things as regards Mr Peter Mbah’s NYSC Certificate Forgery. And more importantly, to call attention to the tissues of lies being peddled against the Director General and management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“It is true that sometimes, in 2003, Mr Peter Mbah was actually mobilised to partake in the one year mandatory national service as required. He indeed participated in the orientation course and was ready and expected to go a full one year on the NYSC mandatory service as everyone else during his batch did. But for whatever reason, Mr Peter Mbah, who studied law at his undergraduate days, opted to proceed to law school. Fellow Nigerians, Mr Peter Mbah left to attend Law School and never returned to complete his one year mandatory service with the NYSC.
“He never came back. It is equally pertinent to point out that there is no room for Corps members to break service in the NYSC books. Those he left behind for the same batch who completed their service have all gotten their certificates and can be verified at the NYSC headquarters. The serial number of certificates of people who served with him and who appeared with him for that batch has to tally. Unfortunately, because he never came back to complete his service, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under the current management could not validate the purported certificate and the number in question. So where he got that certificate remains a subject of inquiry for another day.
“According to the director general report in the media, Mr Peter Mbah actually visited the scheme, and the position was relayed to him as it was on records of the scheme.
“Rather than commend the Director General and management for their uncompromising posture and integrity, it was to the greatest surprise for the scheme and Nigerians to wake up to a suit filed by Mr Peter Mbah seeking to compel the NYSC to validate a forged certificate it did not issue.
“This is not only an insult to himself but to the people of Anambra where Mr Peter Mbah is elected to serve and indeed to all Nigerians. It is for this reason that we are here to defend integrity and encourage transparency in public service, as exemplified by the NYSC leadership.
“The future of Nigeria and any nation at all lies in the integrity, sanctity, and strength of her institutions. It is our duty as individuals and corporate citizens to protect the sanctity of these institutions and other structures of state on the principle of justice and truth. It is, therefore, based on this premise and in keeping with our mandate of upholding good governance in a bid to rescue Nigeria from lawlessness that we gather you here today. Our aim here today is simply to uncover and expose the crude tactics and plans by desperate and unscrupulous politicians to cause distraction and in the process evade shame and perhaps justice by dragging the impeccable reputation and good image of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), its Director General (DG) and other directors in the mud.
“The NYSC has distinguished itself as one of the most consistent and impactful institutions since its establishment 50 years ago. There has hardly been any scandal associated with the Scheme regarding the security and authenticity of her certificates . It is either it is genuine or fake. If you participate in the one year scheme in the appropriate manner, you will like any other Nigerian have your genuine certificate issued by the scheme without any need for further authentication.
“The Scheme has operated continuously without any interruption and has always prioritised Corps welfare and other goals pursuant to their vision. In fact it has increased the allowances of Corps members more than four times in less than 20 years, making it one of the most responsive and youth oriented institutions in Nigeria, which needs support rather than distraction on the platter of political power play. For an institution with such impeccable track records of excellence in service delivery, it is inconceivable that anybody can seek to malign or drag it to court when in truth, they are simply trying to buy time and save face.
“The recent outburst of the Governor-elect of Enugu State, Barrister Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the Scheme’s rejection of his Certificate of National Service is absolutely needless and does not hold water in anyway. Many politicians who contested in this year’s federal and state elections had their Certificates scrutinized by opponents in one way or the other. It is curious that the case is not the same as Barr. Peter Mbah who is bent on bullying the scheme for being courageous in defense of truth. Instead of accepting that his certificate was forged, as it clearly is, he has resorted to politicising the situation through frivolous court cases and unnecessary drama aimed at winning public sympathy and presenting the NYSC as a dubious institution.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, credible intelligence at our disposal has indicated that the Governor-elect and his party, the PDP are plotting together with their cronies to sponsor Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to embark on dastardly smear campaign against the Scheme. We want to state categorically that this so-called protest is dead on arrival as we will massively mobilize all Nigerians to resist any such attempt. The NYSC vision has been found to be reasonably actualized within her 50 years of its operation. Peter Mbah can not be in a position to arrogate himself a certificate and force the scheme to endorse same simply because he is a governor . There is so much falsehood paraded over the matter by interested parties, and it is our advice that the man should admit his wrongs and face the law. It has happened in the past. Mbah should learn from history. The NYSC is bigger than his dreams and political ego.
“Recall ladies and gentlemen that only a few years ago, a former minister of finance was recently involved in a similar scandal and resigned honorably, having admitted that she could have been a victim of certificate racketeering This was a serving cabinet member in a ruling government. Therefore, It will not be out of place for Mr. Mbah to shelve his plots and focus on political and numerous battles and explain the circumstances of the certificate rather than to drag everyone along in his desperate attempt to save himself from drowning. It’s almost becoming a pattern that many Nigerians who school outside the country see the one year mandatory service as waste of time and often fall victim to certificate racketeers who unfortunately have been unable to crack the tight security at the NYSC Directorate of Certification. Instead, they churn out fake certificates that fail to pass NYSC forensic tests. Peter Mbah should come out boldly and tell Nigerians where he got his certificate and apologize to the NYSC for what could be described as defamation.
“The suit filed by the Governor-elect Mr. Peter Mbah against NYSC is nothing but an abuse of court process lacking in merit and a barefaced attempt to force the scheme into accepting that it issued a fake document that did not originate from it. To the best of our knowledge, the suit is a mere academic exercise and an ego trip that would end in utter disgrace of Mr. Peter Mba and eventually vindicate the NYSC.
“As a CSO working closely with Nigerians and especially you the press, we are confident that there is no force that will suddenly spring forth and cause disaffection against the NYSC. The viral celebration of NYSC at 50 by Nigerians on all social media platforms shows how popular and endearing the scheme is in the minds of Nigerians. The Management and Board should therefore remain focused and not be distracted by childish antics of Gov Mbah and his cohorts.
“On the planned sponsored campaign of calumny against the Scheme, the conspirators are urged to have a rethink as they will be exposed in every of their step towards distracting the masses. Nigerians are urged to disregard and consider their rantings as the last kick of a dying horse,” he said