The lawmaker representing Anambra North senatorial district, Stella Oduah, has broken her silence on the reports claiming she did not complete her National Youth Service Corps.
A group identified as Concerned Anambra North Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders had asked NYSC to validate the former Minister of Aviation’s claim of losing her certificate.
The Director-General of the service in response to the request disclosed that Oduah was mobilised for national service in the 1982/83 service year and was deployed to Lagos State.
He, however, stated that Oduah absconded after the orientation and never completed the service.
Oduah’s bid to return to the Nigerian Senate through the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is threatened by this allegation.
Oduah while reacting to the scandal shared a photo of her in NYSC uniform and a letter from NECA confirming that completed her service year.
The lawmaker in a statement released through her media aide, Ezennia Nonso Chukwudebe, said she “served meritoriously at NECA in 1982 as can be confirmed from this 11th January 2017 clarification from the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association personally signed by the Director-General, O.A Oshinowo.”
The statement reads, “*RE: THE VIRAL STORY OF THE ALLEGED SENATOR STELLA ODUAH NYSC ABSCONDMENT.*
“Our attention has just been drawn to a publication that makes a most spurious claim to the effect that the Distinguished Senator representing Anambra North, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON, absconded from the National Youth Service Corps program.
“Ordinarily we would never dignify such antics with a response but we deemed it necessary to put out this statement for the benefit of gullible minds that are being targeted by political jobbers whose stock in trade is churning out such concocted rubbish every election cycle, especially when it is becoming glaring that they are receiving the short end of the political stick.
“The Distinguished Senator indeed served meritoriously at NECA in 1982 as can be confirmed from this 11th January 2017 clarification from the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association personally signed by the Director-General, O.A Oshinowo.
“How her opponents have suddenly resorted to circulating this story which is completely at variance with the position of the agency where she did her primary assignment, is an issue every keen mind should focus on and we are by this publication, giving the NYSC sometime to put out a disclaimer as we firmly believe this letter to be fake.
“Unfortunately we live in climes where such unsubstantiated stories travel fast and it is more worrisome that some mainstream media outlets appear to be sucked into this viral vortex of deceit.
“Senator Stella Oduah did not only serve meritoriously but would go on to work in the NNPC, a Federal Government establishment, for the next nine years!
“Nigerians need to understand that the persons behind the fake letter currently doing the rounds are desperate, despondent and out of their wits end for they instinctively appreciate the fact that the Distinguished Senator is one leader that continues to be appreciated and loved for her many people-oriented programs and no amount of sponsored media mudslinging can obliterate this fact.
“This is election season and it is expected to see such antics by weak traducers whose understanding of politicking is engaging in mindless subterfuge against aspirants rightly perceived as strong.
“Unfortunately for them, they are deploying the same failed strategy that has never managed to stop the Distinguished Senator at the polls and one would expect that they’d restrategize.
“Senator Stella Oduah remains strong, in very high spirits and is looking forward to the election proper.”
Section 2 (1) of the NYSC Act makes it obligatory for every Nigerian who graduates to “make himself available for service for a continuous period of one year from the date specified in the call-up instrument served upon him.”
Basically, NYSC is compulsory in the sense that the graduates of the country can’t request an exemption by themselves, unless they are disabled, have served in the military or paramilitary for a period of more than one year or are older than 30 when they graduated.