By James Ezema
Amid concerns by Nigerians over the security of corps members currently on their mandatory one-year service in crisis prone areas of the country, Director-General of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Maharazu Ismaila Tsiga, weekend in Lagos, affirmed that no corps member would be deployed in Plateau State until normalcy returns in the state.
The D-G who spoke after receiving a â€œSpecial Recognition for Promoting Safety and Security of Corps Members Awardâ€ along side some corps members whose awards for their contribution to the places of service at a national daily newspaper award ceremony in Lagos, weekend, further said corps members who, on their on volition, chose to serve in the state were to sign an undertaking that they willingly opted to do so.
He sad: â€œI donâ€™t need to specifically mention states but Jos is the flash point. But sincerely speaking, efforts we made, like youâ€™re all aware, during the last Jos crisis, I was there trying to evacuate my corps member and by the special grace of the Almighty, nothing happened to any of them.”
â€œBut with the recent one that happened, I believe sincerely that, like we stated that anywhere, either at the community, local government or state level, we find out that there is security threat to this corps members, which by implication means that their services are not needed, weâ€™re going to redeploy them.
On the challenges, he said: â€œMost of the challenges that are very annoying are those of permanent camps where corps members would be having their orientation. Secondly, we should note that it is the statutory responsibility of the state governments, the local governments and other NYSC stakeholders to provide corpersâ€™ lodges, where by implication, it is going to improve their security and welfare. Unfortunately, you find out that corpers are not given accommodation or appropriate accommodation.â€
He maintained that the law that established the scheme, specifically stated that corps members are not supposed to pay rent, saying that â€œwhere you cannot give then accommodation, you must give them money in lieu of accommodation.â€
Speaking on awards given to corps members that distinguished themselves in the service years, 2009, by National Daily newspaper, the DG said: â€œI feel delighted, honestly speaking, with this kind of even.
â€œIâ€™â€™m appealing to all Nigerian elders, particularly stakeholders like National Daily, instead of condemning in totality some of the activities the scheme is doing, particularly the contributions that these corps members are giving, I think they deserve to be recognised so that they can be motivated through that recognition. These are our future leaders, it is not the money that matters.
Just to bring them out and say well done for what you did. It will get you motivated and ready to contribute more to growth of the nation.â€