Weeks after his rumoured dismissal by President Muhammadu Buhari, facts have emerged on why the immediate past Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Muhammad Fadah, was sacked barely six months after his appointment.
Documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES revealed a series of allegations against Mr Fadah, a Brigadier Genneral, bordering on corruption, nepotism and religious bias.
Sources had earlier confirmed the removal of the Director General to various media houses but there was no official confirmation apart from the report from Arise Television quoting the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, reportedly saying “yes” to a question seeking confirmation on the development.
What documents show
On 2 September, a letter authored on behalf of the governing board of NYSC by its chairman, Fatima Abubakar, and addressed to the sports and youth development minister, Mr Dare, listed a lot of issues against the DG.
The letter noted that some of the petitions against Mr Fadah queried his academic qualifications and age, adding that the board had earlier called and spoken to DG concerning the allegations “but failed to fulfil his promise to change.”
The letter reads in part: “We have, from the onset, noticed a lack of seriousness, incompetence and low intellect on the part of the Director General. As you know, NYSC is a very sensitive organisation that deals with young graduates within and outside the country. If the director is not hands-on on duty it is a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen. We cannot with a deep sense of responsibility wait for such to happen.
“Moreover, we have, in the last few weeks, received three petitions accusing him of corruption, nepotism and religious bias. In the petitions, his qualifications and age are also questioned. These petitions are already in the media and the public domain.
“As a Board, we have called and spoken to him twice, laying bare all his faults, but despite his promise to change, he has not improved on his performance.”
The board said the scheme was being impacted negatively by Mr Fadah’s conduct and that the morale of staff was down.
“Staff are not happy as work is virtually at a stand-still. It seems no matter how hard we tried, we have, unfortunately, failed to get him to comprehend the looming dangers we see as a result of his incompetence,” the letter further intimated the minister.
The Minister, whose ministry supervises the activities of the agency, was said to have formally written to the President to inform him of the challenges as expressed by the governing board.
Sources at the ministry, who craved anonymity for fear of sanctions, also confided in our reporter, the consistent conflicts between Mr Fadah and the minister, especially over matters of due process and accountability.
One of these sources said: “Despite glaring evidence of incompetence and low intellect constantly displayed by the DG, he was also very arrogant and believed he was not under any authority. So there were questions on the processes leading to his emergence.”
Following the series of complaints, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, conveyed the President’s approval in a letter addressed to the DG and dated 21, November.
The letter, with reference number, SGF.50/S.10/37, said the President “in the exercise of his powers, approved your removal as Director General, National Youth Service Corps with effect from 16th November.”
In another letter of notification to the NYSC Governing Board, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, conveyed the DG’s removal to the board.
Mr Abubakar’s letter, with reference number FMYD/PS/172/1/0735, directed the board to notify all directors at the headquarters, states and zonal coordinators to desist from giving Mr Fadah “further official recognition as he is no longer the DG of the Scheme.”
“You are kindly requested to bring the content of this mail to the notice of all directors, states and zonal coordinators as well as the entire staff of the NYSC for their strict compliance,” the letter added.
Upon his appointment in May, Mr Fadah, from Yobe State, reiterated that he would work hard to maintain the dream of the founding fathers of the scheme, which he said was targeted at uniting the country.
Among his plans for the NYSC was the “improvement of security and welfare of corps members; enhancement of staff welfare; and improving the gains of NYSC ventures”.
Other areas listed in his plans for the corps are “sustaining the digitisation of the operations of the scheme, and deepening NYSC’s impact on rural development through community development service”.
However, since his assumption of office, Mr Fadah is said to have relegated the standard of operations at the agency, with allegations of corruption and indiscipline constantly levelled against him.
Following his removal, Mr Fadah is said to have handed over to the most senior official within the NYSC, who is expected to act as DG of the corps pending the announcement of a new appointment.
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