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VC Benue State varsity embroiled in NYSC certificate scandal

Barely three years after a Minister of Finance in the President Muhammadu Buhari Cabinet, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, resigned and fled the country after it was discovered that she flouted the Law on participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, a Vice-Chancellor appointed by Governor Samuel Ortom for the State-owned Benue State Universty, Makurdi, Professor Joe Tor Iorapuu, may have his tenure truncated for participating twice in the NYSC, which also violates the statues establishing the Scheme.

According to findings, Professor Iorapuu, on completing his Secondary school at Government Secondary School Katsina-Ala, Benue State, in 1980, gained admission into the College of Education, Katsina-Ala in 1981 graduated with a National certificate of Education, NCE in 1984.

Subsequently, he was mobilized for the NYSC scheme and posted to the then Bendel State where he did his primary assignment with the Bendel Arts Council, Benin City, 1984-1985.

His set would be the last set of National Certificate of Education, NCE holders to participate in the NYSC scheme, as a review of the Act that year exempted them making it compulsory for only Degree and HND holders.

While still serving the Nation, Iorapuu applied for Direct Entry admission through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and was offered admission at the University of Jos where he enrolled a B.A (Theatre Arts) degree in October, 1985, soon after completing his NYSC in Benin.

After three years of rigorous studies at the University of Jos, the young ambitious Iorapuu graduated with a Second Class Upper Bachelor’s degree in 1988.

He was again enrolled for the NYSC scheme and, this time, posted to Lagos State as one of the Second Tier Corps members for that year.

He, along with others posted to Lagos, in December 1988, did their Combined Orientation with those posted to Ogun State at the then temporary Orientation Camp for Ogun State, Government Teachers College, Ilaro, Yewa North LGA.

According to one of the guidelines on eligibility for participation in the NYSC Scheme, “Also, anybody who is not eligible to participate in the Service Corps or HAS BEEN DULY ISSUED WITH A CERTIFICATE OF NATIONAL SERVICE or Certificate of Exemption but so participates or attempts to participate SHALL BE PROSECUTED in line with Section 13 Subsection 2(a) and (b) of the NYSC Act Cap 84 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

According to findings, this discovery has generated ripples within the University and the State in general as pressure is being mounted on perceived godfathers of the Vice-Chancellor to advise him to take “the path of honour”, a euphemism for resignation.

Those piling the pressure are mostly pioneer academics of Benue State University who viewed his appointment last year November by the Visitor of the University, Governor Samuel Ortom, as “an imposition”.

This was so because, Tor Iorapuu, who has been Lecturing at the University of Jos since 1989 after finishing his NYSC in Benin, only joined Benue State University on a one year Sabatical job in 2019.

He had, before then, attempted to run for the gubernatorial ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) along with others, including the incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom.

Most academics of the university and others in the State, for the above reasons, also view his appointment as either political horsetrading or scheming by incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom to smoothen his political relationship with the Gwer axis of his Minda geo-political polity for his perceived Senatorial ambition.

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