The Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, has been embroiled in a controversy surrounding her dual roles as a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and a federal minister.
Sources in NYSC headquarters have shed light on the matter, stating that while the NYSC Act and accompanying bye-laws do not explicitly prohibit a corps member from assuming a ministerial or commissioner position, engaging in partisan politics or affiliating with a political party during the service year was strictly forbidden.
A source, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to comment on the matter, told Vanguard last night: “Based on the NYSC Act and its accompanying bye-laws governing the operations and regulations of the scheme, there are no specific provisions that prohibit a serving corps member from being appointed as a minister or commissioner.
“However, it is important to note that the appointment of ministers or commissioners is typically a political process that involves considerations such as political affiliations.
“According to the NYSC bye-laws, corps members are prohibited from engaging in partisan politics or joining any political party during the service year.
“The aim of this restriction is to maintain the neutrality and non-partisanship of the NYSC programme.
“Corps members are expected to focus on their primary assignments, which involve community development, education, healthcare, and other areas of national service.”
In the meantime, Mr. Eddy Megwa, the Director of Press and Public Relations for NYSC, was also contacted but said he was in a meeting.
Vanguard recalls that this isn’t the first instance of a corps member holding a political office.
In 2019, Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, nominated and eventually appointed then 26-year-old Joana Nnazua Kolo, who was still undergoing the one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps in Jigawa State, as commissioner for youths and sports.
Despite the precedence, the dual roles of Musawa continue to generate debate and raise questions about the interpretation and practical application of NYSC bye-laws.