It is rather amazing how one, claiming to be an ex-corps member under the faceless name of Bilyaminu Mohammed, woke and wrote a piece in the Daily Trust Newspaper of Monday, September 27, 2021, erroneously castigating the NYSC scheme that has earned itself an impeccable reputation and integrity, nationally and internationally, since 1973 when it was established by an elder statesman, former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon.Indeed, the establishment of the scheme was never a mistake as it has continued to operate in line with the unassailable vision and mission of its founding fathers.
The NYSC scheme has continued to live above board and it has never gone astray.By way of a reminder, the Act that establishes the scheme (generally referred to as the service corps) stipulated some clear and unambiguous objectives for it. The establishment of the scheme was therefore never a mistake. The Act clearly stipulates some objectives for it. They include the proper encouragement and development of common ties among Nigerian youths, the promotion of national unity and the development of the Nigerian youths and Nigeria into a great and dynamic economy. The service has never gone astray or meander from these noble objectives.
NYSC is now a household name in the country and one can conveniently affirm that in the Nigeria of today, ‘No NYSC, no Nigeria.’There was also never a denial by the management of the scheme. One wonders if the faceless and commercial writer has even truly served under the scheme as he claimed. This may however be a subject of probe and subsequent verification. So, he cannot just unilaterally speak for other patriotic Nigerians who still hold the scheme in high esteem. His was really a destructive and lone voice.As regards the allegation of securing relocation with N5,000 and a fake medical report, the NYSC management has endeavoured to ensure that all the extant rules and regulations of the scheme are strictly adhered to. Any infraction is not condoned at all levels.
Only last week, a high court in Sokoto prosecuted someone parading himself as NYSC staff and extorted N60,000 from desperate corps members seeking relocation. The writer is therefore also guilty and is liable for prosecutionThe scheme is also never a do-or-die affair, but a call to national service like its being done by the peers of the corps members in other climes. All those who had served are still proud to have done so. The scheme also makes ceaseless efforts to ensure the safety of lives and property of the corps members across the nation both within and outside the orientation camps.
The corps members are not left alone even during their primary assignments. This is an unassailable fact. The writer has equally testified to the fact that he along with others, were escorted to their various destinations by highly armed military men after the orientation course. Is that what the NYSC scheme deserves from him after this gesture? He is indeed an ingrate.Relatedly, the call by the pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, is also uncalled for and at best dastardly, and unpatriotic. Posting corps members to their various states of origins automatically negates the objectives of the scheme. It is also an outright contravention of the Act establishing it.
Salisu Abarshi,Garki, Abuja.