The Nigeria Minister of Art, Culture & Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa has admitted that she is currently serving her national youth corps, known as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) but that it does not constitutionally affect her ministerial position.
The minister, in a statement today, August 27, reacting to what she called “barrage of media attacks and misinformation” about her, following her appointment and swearing-in as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, insisted that there is no law of Nigeria or any part of the nation’s constitution and NYSC Act that states that a serving Corp member cannot be appointed by the President of Nigeria or any other appointing authority into political positions.
“Equally, no part of our existing laws and NYSC Act says that a corp member must finish service before he/she can be appointed into political office. There is no legal and constitutional limitations whatsoever. I have not broken any law of Nigeria.”
In the statement titled: “My Personal Statement On My NYSC Statue As Serving Minister,” Hannatu, admitted that she is currently on the NYSC national service which she began eight months ago as a matter of duty and devotion to her country, “having been unable to complete the scheme since I was first mobilised in 2001.
“I started the mandatory national service as a Corp member deployed to Akwa-Ibom State (pls confirm state) in 2001 upon the completion of my university education. “I could not complete the service same year after my redeployment to Kaduna State due to family obligations. “Despite this, it has been my personal resolve and commitment that I will always fulfill this national duty whenever I am opportuned to do so.
“I applied to NYSC to be mobilised again for national service last year. “NYSC graciously mobilised and deployed me to serve in Abuja where I have been serving in the last 8 months before my current appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The minister said that contrary to wrong insinuations and false assumptions in a section of the mainstream media and social media where false accusations have been made, there is no breach of any law or constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, regarding her current position as a Minister and status as serving Corp member.
She cited a decided case before a Federal High Court Abuja in 2021, where Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled that the Constitution of Nigeria, which is the grundnorm, does not require anyone to even present a first-degree certificate or any other certificate, including the NYSC certificate to be appointed a Minister in Nigeria to buttress her case
“I decided to participate in the current NYSC programme in fulfillment of my own personal commitment and out of sense of duty which I am proud of.
“I will continue to serve my country using every opportunity and platform. My current NYSC status which will end in another 4 months will not in anyway impede the discharge of my duties as Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, which, on its own, is a higher call to national service.
“I use this medium to publicly restate my loyalty and rededicate myself to the service of Nigeria. I will continue to serve faithfully and with all my energy to deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu for a better, greater and more prosperous Nigeria.”