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President Yar’Adua’s Brother Compiles NYSC’s Ransom, Relationship Advisory For Corps Members

Abdul’Aziz Musa Yar’Adua, younger brother of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, is the contractor engaged by the National Youth Service Corps to compile its security advisory to corps members, Peoples Gazette’s findings show.

Mr Yar’Adua, a retired colonel and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, registered and used Watchcon Security Company Ltd to land the contract from the nation’s paramilitary service, according to CAC filings seen by The Gazette. He produced the controversial security protocol that recommended corps members should prepare ransom in anticipation of possible abduction before travelling on Nigerian roads.

The controversial document, titled: Security Awareness and Education Handbook for Corps Members and Staff, was produced in 2020 as the 13th revised edition for tertiary education graduates taking part in the paramilitary programme.

“When travelling in high risk road such as Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene or Aba-Port-Harcourt road, then alert your family members, friends and colleagues in order to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded,” the document said at page 58 and 59.

The protocol also directed corps members to immediately establish a personal relationship with their abductors as this may help guarantee their safety.

The NYSC issued a statement to deny the manual as fake news after it circulated on social media last week, boosted by known personalities, including UK-based medical doctor Olufunmilayo Ogunsanya.

“Management wishes to emphatically state that the clause quoted is not embedded in NYSC Security Tips pamphlet which was put together by a highly respected retired security expert,” the NYSC said in a statement sent to The Gazette on September 23.

The agency later admitted ownership of the document and said it was conducting an investigation, but did not reveal the name of the “respected security expert” that compiled it. The Gazette, however, traced the owners of Watchcon Ltd credited in the NYSC document and found it belonged to Mr Yar’Adua, who registered it with other partners in October 2011 under RC 986237.

Mr Yar’Adua retired from the Nigerian Army in October 2010, five months after his brother died after three years in power. He subsequently joined politics in Katsina and has played a crucial role in consolidating power within the Yar’Adua political dynasty.

He sought Katsina governorship in 2015 under the APC but lost at primaries to Aminu Bello Masari. He remained in the ruling party and vowed in 2019 that the APC will remain in power for long after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

It was unclear how much Mr Yar’Adua’s firm received for the security advisory contract, or whether it went through competitive bidding as required by federal procurement regulations. Neither Watchcon nor the NYSC returned a request seeking comments from The Gazette about the contract.

The advisory has met nationwide condemnation. It also elicited outrage amongst corps members who have fallen prey to kidnappers along Nigerian highways in recent years, with many losing their lives in the process. Demand also echoed across the country for a review of the NYSC statute, which was first introduced in 1973 to institutionalise national unity after the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-70.

Peoples Gazette

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