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NYSC may send corps members to war zones

By Barakat Odegbola

Apparently concerned by the moves to scrap the NYSC scheme, Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim has said that corps members may be sent to possible war zones as they are part of the national defence policy of Nigeria.

According to him, Our corps members are part of the national defence policy of this country. They are educated, knowledgeable and they can be trained for where there is serious war. The drilling training and so on are part of the training.

He said, “You can imagine within the short three weeks in the orientation camps, the corps members are moulded. They are like soldiers. You see female corps members blowing the army horn, playing with the military band.

“So, if not for the knowledge, where are you going to mobilise such young Nigerians to train them quickly to put in their best for the country? So, corps members are on reserve. They are also part of the national defence policy.”

The NYSC DG disclosed this on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Wednesday while reacting to moves to scrap the NYSC scheme, a program set up by the Nigerian government to involve Nigerian graduates in nation-building and the development of the country.

Ibrahim maintained that the level of insecurity in Nigeria was not enough reason to scrap the scheme, adding that, to date, 75 per cent of corps members are still serving in rural areas across the country.

He said the NYSC is concerned about the security of corps members and that was why they had been advised not to move around at night.

The NYSC boss added that he had advised corps members not to travel outside their state of deployment without the permission of the state coordinator. He said corps members had been urged not to travel after 6 pm and they are free to sleep at any corpers’ lodge while travelling.

The NYSC boss argued that the NYSC had become more important than ever in the face of the rising calls for secession.

He added that he had proposed a National Youth Trust Fund through which loans would be given to corps members to start businesses after completing the mandatory programme.

Ibrahim said the scheme had been able to foster national unity and cohesion, adding that many corps members had found love in the various orientation camps and married.

“There are a lot of inter-marriages. For most of our females, the history of their marriages can be traced to their service year because they meet their fiancées during their service year. I have had cause to attend such weddings and the NYSC supports such weddings,” he said.

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