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Yakubu Gowon to Nigerians: Forget setbacks, Nigeria is moving forward

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As NYSC DG blows hot over requests for special posting of corps members

By Luminous Jannamike

ABUJA – Former Military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), Wednesday urged Nigerians to be optimistic about the future of the nation, saying the country is moving forward despite its setbacks.

Yakubu Gowon
Yakubu Gowon

He made the appeal in Abuja at the 2019 Sensitisation Workshop on the Act establishing the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

Gowon was represented by one time Minister of Education ad pioneer Director-General of NYSC, Col. Ahmadu Ali (rtd).

The former military leader, who lauded efforts made by successive administrations towards ensuring Nigeria remained an indivisible entity after the civil war, said: “Nigerians should call to mind the bold step we took over 46 years ago to provide a platform for young Nigerians to play their part in actualising our vision of a a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

“A world of difference exists between the NYSC in 1973 and today. We started the Scheme not long after the civil war with less than 4,000 corpers.

“Today, the current Director-General is handling about 350,000 corps members at once. That shows you the growth of Nigeria itself. Such phenomenal rise alone depicts the nation is moving forward irrespective of what is being said in certain quarters.

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“Those of us who have served this nation and know what is going on, know that Nigeria is going forward despite the internal and external setbacks.”

Gowon, however, urged the federal government to consider posting some corps members to ECOWAS states for their service.

Speaking, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, the current NYSC DG, frowned at the frequent requests by highly placed individuals and organisations for concession in the deployment of corps members to specific areas.

He said: “I consider it appropriate to remind those inundating us with request for posting of corps members to specific areas of endeavours for Primary Assignment that such requests are not in tandem with the provisions of the NYSC Act from which our posting policy is derived.

“For the avoidance of doubt, corps members are assigned to serve in areas where their service are required in line with national needs, with priority to rural transformation.

“Areas where we have security challenges, we don’t post corps members until we have clearance from security agencies.”

On the call by Gen. Gowon for deployment of corps members to other West Africa states, Ibrahim said the National Assembly needs to amend the NYSC Act to make it possible.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry if Youth and Sports Development, Olusade Adesola, said the abuse of NYSC uniform through usage by unauthorised persons including movie makers and advertising practitioners is unacceptable.

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