In a move designed to put a lid to the raging controversies on whether he participated in the mandatory one year National Youth Service scheme or not, Honourable Dimeji Bankole, Speaker of the House of Representatives this morning circulated photocopies of his discharge certificate from the scheme at the premises of the National Assembly. There have been speculations in the past few days about the authenticity of the new Speaker’s academic qualifications as well as whether he served in the NYSC scheme or not.
The rumour was allegedly being peddled by some lawmakers in the lower chambers of the National Assembly who are not happy with Bankole’s emergence as the Speaker of the House.
Some members of the National Assembly under the platform of Integrity Group who were instrumental to the emergence of the Speaker had subsequently challenged the Speaker to redeem his image by making his discharge certificate available to the public if he indeed participated in the one year mandatory scheme.
But the number four citizen who said he would only discuss the issue of the NYSC discharge certificate when he gets it from his hometown of Abeokuta, in Ogun State, finally heeded the call of the Intergrity Group and other Nigerians this morning in Abuja.
A photocopy of the discharge certificate circulated by the aides of the Speaker in the premises of the National Assembly with the name Bankole Dabor Oladimeji indicated that the nation’s number four citizen did his NYSC programme in the Federal Capital Territory between 2 February 1998 to 1st February, 1999.
The discharge certificate has as its number FCT/FRN/97/99823.
Honourable Bankole had also yesterday challenged journalists to go the Abuja national headquarters of the NYSC to confirm or disprove the allegations that he did not participate in the scheme during an interactive session with reporters.
But enquiries at the Abuja NYSC National Secretariat have not yielded any dividend as at the time of filing in this report as a result of the usual bureaucratic red-tapism.
Also, some of those who claimed to have served with the Abeokuta born lawmaker have been coming to his defence.
One of such persons is Abdulrazak Tumba, a manager at the National Assembly branch of Oceanic Bank. The banker brought a picture showing Bankole and his colleagues at the Kubwa Orientation Camp of NYSC which was displayed to journalists yesterday during an informal press briefing.
Also, one of the Speaker’s friends also vouched before reporters that Bankole indeed took part in the mandatory scheme.
Apart from the NYSC issue, the Speaker has also challenged those who are disputing his educational qualifications to contact the schools he claimed to have attended to seek further clarifications.
The Speaker said he never went to Sandhurst military academy but only took courses for military officers at Oxford University where he was in the Artillery Corps and even won some medals.
The Speaker, who gave his service number as 24883329, further challenged his critics to go to the Website of Oxford University to verify his claims.
Meanwhile, Dr. Babs Hussain, Director, Nigerian Intelligence Study Group, said the fact that Bankole served in the British Army poses a serious risk by virtue of the position he now occupies in the country.
According to him, “loyalty and allegiance are serious issues in the milieu of sovereignty of any nation.”
– PM News