Until Friday, September 14, 2018, Folakemi Adeosun (née Oguntomoju), was Nigeria’s erudite and piquant-witted Minister of Finance. Mrs. Kemi Adeosun (as she is popularly known) is as mannerly, almost inimitably brilliant, talking as though she once kissed the proverbial Blarney Stone in Scotland, as she is stunningly prepossessing, her face bedecked by inviting dimples and a touch of innocence belying her acute intelligence. Whenever she addressed the Press in or outside Nigeria, my pride as a Nigerian knew no limit as she would talk as though her only drink on earth was pure honey! But, most, unfortunately, whereas good things in Nigeria never last, the bad and the ugly enjoy immortality.
So ‘Kemi Adeosun resigned from the Muhammadu Buhari-led cabinet on that fateful day, September 14, 2018, and her resignation was gingerly accepted with the promptitude and the alacrity of a practised acrobat! It took six months to scout for her in 2016; it took less than a week to replace her in 2018!
The journey to her painful disgrace from the Federal cabinet started when Premium Times, a social medium, bayed that ‘Kemi landed State and Federal Government jobs in Nigeria without undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme and that the exemption certificate she allegedly procured from the NYSC Secretariat was fake.
Now, let’s look at Kemi’s history, in a nutshell. She was born in the United Kingdom in 1967; she was raised (bred and nurtured) in that country. She graduated from the Polytechnic of East London (later University of East London) in 1989 at the age of 22. In England, where she was born and raised, there is no English equivalent of Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme; so, she started working in Chapel Hill, Denham, in England, upon graduation, there being no such law (express or otherwise) in Nigeria that any Nigerian citizen, born, bred and trained outside Nigeria must come home to undergo the one-year NYSC programme before returning to his country of birth. She was in the country of her birth and training until 2002, when she was 35, before coming to Nigeria in response to the strident calls by Nigeria’s Federal and State Governments on expert Nigerians in the diaspora to “come home and help develop your motherland.”
Before coming home at age 35, unsuspecting ‘Kemi, in all probability, procured the services of some Nigerian consultants to work out for her an NYSC exemption certificate, which was most unnecessary as she was past the NYSC age.