The National Youth Service Corps has dismissed the claim by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, that holding political office compensated for his refusal to participate in the compulsory national service.
The spokesperson of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Adenike Adeyemi, said the minister’s claim that holding an elective office suffices for the obligatory national service is incorrect.
Since PREMIUM TIMES exposed him as an NYSC dodger on Thursday, Mr Shittu has been claiming that his election into the Oyo State House of Assembly immediately after graduation in 1979 replaced the mandatory service.
Some lawyers, however, said Mr Shittu’s justification for skipping the scheme is flawed and ludicrous.
Mrs Adeyemi agreed with the lawyers on the bases for the exemption allowed by the law in Section 2 of the NYSC Act.
The referenced section exempted only four categories of Nigerians from the national service.
Those exempted are those who graduated after their 30th birthday, those who served in the military or the police for at least nine months as well as staff of intelligence agencies.
Those conferred with national honours before graduation are also exempted from the scheme.
Speaking to Tribune newspaper, the NYSC spokesperson said the provisions of the Act are clear, and that individuals such as Mr Shittu who became a lawmaker at the age of 26 are not exempted.