By Peter Okutu
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Monday gave reasonable clarifications as to why two Corps Members in Ebonyi State were evicted from the Orientation Camp last week in the state.
The two members according to reports were sent packing for allegedly refusing to wear the NYSC kits (trousers) in camp as they were said to have worn skirts against the usual trousers given to them by the NYSC.
Following widespread misconception and condemnation that trailed the story, the scheme made concerted effort to clear the air on the issue. The State Coordinator, Mrs Ann Ibe, told newsmen that the NYSC followed due process in de-kiting the Corps Members.
According to her, the Corps Members were queried for flouting Schedule 1 Article 3 (b) (ix) of the NYSC Bye-Laws 1993.
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The article she cited according to investigation deals with the code of conduct of Corps Members especially as it has to do with the mode of dressing.
A copy of the bye-laws obtained by Vanguard clearly states in Schedule 1 Article 3 that ‘every member shall observe the following code of conduct during the period for which the code relates.
It further goes on to state in (b) (ix) that during the orientation, every member shall wear the various uniform provided for activities.
She further said that the bye-laws also stipulated punishment for offenders in schedule 2 article 1(I) (a).
The said schedule 2 article (I) (a) states that ‘failure to wear the uniform provided for any particular activity, the Corps Member should be informed to go and wear the uniform, failing which he will be decamped’.
Mrs Ibe said the Corps members were de-kited in line with the recommendations of the NYSC Camp Court.
The Court, she noted is the NYSC Disciplinary Committee, which handles cases arising in camp.
“The Court considered their cases and gave the opportunity to defend themselves for not being properly kitted in line with service regulations which includes undertaking to keep to the rules and regulations of the scheme”.
“They were properly defended by a Corps Lawyer and at the end, the Court found them guilty and recommended they be decamped and de-kitted,” she said.
The State Coordinator, however, noted that though they were de-kitted and decamped in line with the bye-laws of the NYSC the matter has been forwarded to the Headquarters of the scheme for final determination.
Meanwhile, investigations revealed that the officials in the camp tried to convince the Corps Members to change their mind but they refused.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Corps Members told the Camp Court that the decision not to wear the NYSC kits is their personal conviction.