These past few weeks, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been in the spotlight: from the forgery scandal faced by Kemi Adeosun, erstwhile minister of finance, to the ongoing revelations that Adebayo Shittu, minister of communication, never served at all.
These events have reignited the discourse on the importance of the mandatory one-year scheme.
When Afropop superstar, Davido, announced via photos shared on Instagram that he would be part of the latest batch of corps members, it did a world of good for the scheme’s relevance — but that only lasted for a few hours.
Davido, right after entertaining other corps members and camp officials with his songs on the first day, seemingly abandoned the orientation camp to continue his tour abroad, an action that enraged many commentators on social media, who attributed the development to his wealth and status.
Although it is not known for sure if the singer applied for, and was granted, an exemption from the 21-day camp to attend to his performance obligations abroad.
Davido would eventually cancel his world tour, citing ‘NYSC commitment’, but going by his activities of the past few days, ‘political commitment’ might also be another factor.
Of late, the entertainer has been neck deep in politics, aggressively campaigning for his uncle, senator Ademola Adeleke, who is running for the Osun state governorship on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
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MY FELLOW OSUN BROTHERS AND SISTERS , AS MOST OF YOU MAY KNOW I AM A NATIVE OF OSUN STATE , LETS TAKE OSUN TO A NEW LEVEL , ALL THE YOUTHS AND INDIGENES OF THE STATE – RISE AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR OUR STATE AND THE PEOPLE . I WILL BE PRESENT IN ALL PDP RALLIES SUPPORTING SEN NURUDEEN ADEMOLA ADELEKE , UNDER THE PEOPLE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ( PDP ) ! 15th @ EDE 17th @ IWO 18th @ ILESHA 19th @ OSOGBO for the Final Rally ! BRING YOUR PVC CARDS ! IMOLE DE ! BADDEST SAY SO ! @ademolaadeleke_01
OBO, as he is fondly called, deployed the full power of his superstar status to campaign for Adeleke, politically weaponising his celebrity and music as a bulwark against other gubernatorial aspirants.
Spotted at campaign rallies-turned music concert, Davido and his label mates took over the state of Osun, drawing huge crowds of potential would-be voters.
Going by the NYSC bye-laws, Davido’s political activities point to an illegality. The bye-laws clearly state that corps members should not participate in partisan politics, with an extension of their service year listed as the punishment.
The law states that: “Any member who takes part in partisan politics is liable to extension of service for a period not less than three (3) months without pay.”
From donning PDP garbs to prompting the electorate to vote for his uncle, Davido actively took part in the pre-election campaign trail of the Osun governorship poll.
The singer not only performed at rallies, but he also posted messages describing Adeleke as the “incoming” governor of the state.
That Davido took part in partisan politics while undergoing his NYSC programme is as clear as daylight, but what becomes of his law-flouting activities remain to be seen.
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