By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Owing to the precarious state of security across Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has announced the introduction of martial arts in its orientation course for prospective corps members.
Director-General of the Scheme, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, made this known in a special message to the 2020 Batch ‘A’ corps members on the occasion of their swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.
He, however, assured that in spite of the paradigm shift in the orientation course content, the NYSC would remain in touch with security agencies to ensure the lives and properties of all corps members were kept safe throughout their service year.
Ibrahim said, “I feel highly gratified to address you as you commence another phase in your lives as members of the National Youth Service Corps, an elite Scheme that parades a pool of enlightened and sophisticated class of Nigerian youths, pulled together from diverse socio-cultural and religious backgrounds, with a united purpose of building a strong, indivisible and egalitarian entity.
“As the name connotes, Orientation programme is designed to equip Corps Members adequately for the task of nation building, the challenges that lie within and ahead of the Service Year.
“Primarily, the course contents involve skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development programme, training in physical fitness; series of lectures, social activities, games and sports – all geared towards imbuing you with the spirit of discipline and patriotism, and getting you prepared for the leadership roles that you will assume in future in the polity.
“In the three weeks that you will be encamped, there will be observance of strict regimentation in all your activities. Therefore, you will not have absolute freedom as that will be curtailed. You are expected to conform to the rules and regulations guiding the Orientation camp.
“Dear patriotic Corps Members, NYSC has recorded a paradigm shift in the Orientation course content, aligning it with the prevailing security and economic realities.
“The precarious state of national security and shrinkage of white collar jobs made this phenomenal change germane and compelling.
“It will be wise to take this training seriously in order to enhance your personal security. That notwithstanding, the Scheme is always in constant touch with the various security agencies to ensure that your security is not compromised.”
He said a corollary to the above is the issue of financial security.
According to him, it was worrisome to note that a lot of ex-Corps Members who got demobilized from service as far as ten years back were yet to be gainfully employed.
“This sorry state of affairs has brought about despondency and dejection on the part of some serving Corps Members.
“It equally fans the embers of criminality and depravity such as robbery, advance fee fraud, prostitution, drug peddling and abuse to mention but a few.
“My dear virile youths, your sojourn in the ship of nation building is a life-time opportunity, I implore you to utilize it maximally. Some of your predecessors who heeded this counsel are today business owners, doing very well in their various businesses and contributing positively to the growth of Nigerian economy,” he said.