In one of the most widely acclaimed elections in recent times, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan emerged the winner by winning the required quota of two-thirds of the states. It was a result widely accepted by many of the opposition parties with the notable exception of the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). There was no small amount of irritation when the reports started coming in on the news that there were pockets of violence in the northern parts. Not a few people reacted with, These mallams have started again. It is certainly not my aim here to explore the causes of these crises. This has been done by more qualified people and it will serve no purpose. I however want to focus on a class of people that have, over time, come to be seen as an expendable resource and are now seen as targets for every sort of exploitation.
With the NYSC scheme in its 38th (pardon if I’m mistaken) year, it is becoming very obvious that it is no longer wholesome to send youths to various parts of the country with no protection or adequate provision for their bodily needs. Stories abound of corps members being taken advantage of by employers and even by the natives of the places they are posted to. The NYSC is simply helpless to do anything about it because they are practically begging organisations to take in corps members. And now, of course, the situation of having them as the targets of attacks has come up. This situation is not just in the northern parts even though it is more pronounced there. Even here in the south, reports are coming in of how, indigenes are threatening the lives and limbs of those who are serving the country.
As sad as the situation is, I cannot, in good conscience call for the scrapping of the scheme. Not a few schools in the rural areas would break down completely and so many beneficial projects by corps members will never be realised. There is just too much good that is being done all over the country that justifies the continuation of the scheme. I want to propose two revisions.
First, I think it makes no sense to make it as long as a year. Perhaps, six months would suffice. There is no need to keep some people for such a long time when there is such a backlog of people waiting to go to service in many schools. I also believe that the prospects should be given some freedom to choose, at least, the geographical region in which they will serve. Since it is obvious that the government can no longer provide security and the lives of members of the scheme are forfeit, it is only fair that one – pardon the expression – chooses one’s poison. Afterall, we need to be compensated for being made ‘walking targets’.
I’d love to hear what you think. Do comment and invite others to. Thanks. 🙂
- Violence after presidential elections: 2 cops, 4 NYSC members, 10 others killed in Bauchi State (saferafricagroup.com)
- No NYSC member died in Suleja bombing, says Gen Ismaila Tsiga, NYSC boss (saferafricagroup.com)
- Four NYSC members, clergy man, 10 others killed in Bauchi crisis (vanguardngr.com)
- INEC may postpone guber poll in violent areas (vanguardngr.com)
- Rioters lock in 50 NYSC members, set building on fire (famouspeoplenews.wordpress.com)
- NYSC boss assures on corps members’ security (vanguardngr.com)
- Now Your Suffering Continues (socyberty.com)