Nigeria’s culture minister, Hannatu Musawa, disowns statement on NYSC status
Nigeria’s Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, has disowned a statement purportedly released by her in relation to the controversy surrounding her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) status.
A section of the media had on Sunday published a statement purportedly issued by Ms Musawa, saying she had not broken any law by holding a ministerial position and undergoing the national service simultaneously.
However, in a statement by the Deputy Director, Press at the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Suleiman Haruna, Ms Musawa said the published statement did not emanate from her.
“The attention of Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa, the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, has been drawn to a recently circulating piece…The piece is inaccurately associated with her in relation to the current NYSC discussion,” Mr Haruna said.
“The Hon. Minister clarifies that she has not released any official statement regarding the aforementioned matter and kindly asks the public to be cautious of unverified information.”
The minister added: “For clarity, I wish to state that I have not issued any statement on the current issue.”
The controversy regarding the NYSC status of Ms Musawa began three years ago when she could not provide evidence of national service to senators during the screening for an appointment she was nominated for by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
But the controversy reached a new height in the past few days following the confirmation by the management of the NYSC that Ms Musawa, who was inaugurated last Monday as a minister by President Bola Tinubu, was still undergoing her national youth service.
Consequently, critics began to call for her to be relieved of the ministerial position insisting she cannot hold on to both.
Premium Times said documents it reviewed revealed that an NYSC discharge certificate issued in Ms Musawa’s name in 2003 exists and is in the custody of the Corps. However, authorities are withholding the document after accusing her of absconding at a point during her service year.
On her part, Ms Musawa said the NYSC was not diligent and careful enough in its search for her record and that she was not accorded a fair hearing to prove that she did not abscond.
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