The last couple of days have witnessed barrage of media attacks and misinformation about me following my appointment and swearing-in as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
I want to, again, thank President Tinubu for finding me worthy and for giving me the opportunity to serve the country I love as one of his Ministers.
It is true I am currently on the NYSC national service which I began 8 months ago as a matter of duty and devotion to my 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.
I will like to state clearly 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 my current position as a Minister and status as serving Corp member.
It must be said that there is no law of Nigeria or any part of the our constitution and NYSC Act that states that a serving Corp member can not 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 fact, in a decided case before a Federal High Court Abuja in 2021, 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.
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.
Minister of Art, Culture & Creative Economy
August 27, 2023