THE Education Rights Campaign, ERC, condemns the insistence of the Federal Government that National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members must serve in the North Eastern states which for the past months have been enveloped by violence, bomb blast and killings.
We hereby demand the immediate redeployment of all NYSC members including batch ‘C’ members posted to troubled regions and states.
At a news conference in Abuja on July 10, 2012, the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir overruled the Director General of the NYSC by insisting that corps members would be posted to Borno, Yobe and other troubled states.
This position is said to supersede an earlier concession granted to the affected corps members by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.General Nnamdi Okore-Affia. The DG, had in a statement on July 5 directed corps members posted to Yobe to proceed to Nasarawa State, while those scheduled to have their orientation in Borno were directed to Benue State.
Against the background of the unrelenting and seemingly intractable ethnic and religious crisis ravaging the North Eastern part of the country, it is callous and insensitive on the part of Alhaji Abdulkadir, to insist that corps members must serve in volatile states despite the obvious threat to their lives.
Since when do corrupt members of the Nigerian ruling class start obeying laws or respecting the constitution where their self-serving interests are concerned? Since when has any member of the clueless Nigerian ruling elite being prepared to serve Nigeria and protect its unity and enhance its progress not to talk of paying the supreme sacrifice in the course of doing that? During the last April general elections in 2011, tens of NYSC members were murdered in the post-election violence that broke out in the North. Up till now parents and relatives of the deceased have received no compensation except verbal condolences from the government.
The argument of the Minister amounts to ordering a generation of the nation’s future onto a slaughter house! Meanwhile these are the nation’s youth who were never catered for by the state whether in the area of health, education or employment right from their childhood to adulthood!
•By Hassan Taiwo Soweto is National Coordinator of ERC