The Lagos State House of Assembly has written the office of the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in protest against the recent posting of prospective corps members from the southern part of the country especially Lagos, to the north.
There has been criticisms from the public since the posting started and despite this, the NYSC authorities have continued with the registration of corpers for Batch C and have gone ahead to fix the deadline for registration at 12 midnight today.
The House said in the event that the corps members are not reposted, the NYSC should be held responsible for any negative thing which happens to any of the members.
Members of the Assembly, who protested against the resolve by the NYSC to send graduates for the mandatory one year service to some troubled areas of the north at the floor of the House, stressed that they would continue to reject it as NYSC does not have adequate provision for the security of life and property.
The House then moved that the NYSC management should “post all graduates meant for the NYSC scheme out of resolved states in Nigeria where there are violence and threat to life.”
A member of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, who raised the issue as a matter of urgent public importance, told Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his colleagues that since the posting began, he had received a lot of calls and text messages from protesters.
He wondered why the NYSC management would decide to send graduates to trouble spots in the country in the face of growing insecurity and lack of government’s ability to curb the challenge.
“Unfortunately, a lot of our indigenes and citizens are being posted to trouble areas where a lot of serving corps members died last year and their parents are still mourning,” he said, adding that there was no sincere assurances from the scheme’s management about adequate security of these graduates.
He said he was against sacrificing innocent graduates who are supposed to be the hope of the country in the name of the service at a time “the country is going through naked violence in some parts of the north.
“We are not saying NYSC should be cancelled but if some people have chosen to be unrepentant in their brazen violence, then something must be done.”
He suggested that corps members from such trouble states could be posted there if it is so important to send corps members to the security-challenged states.
He recalled that though the scheme was set up for national integration, he was against satisfying the goals and objectives of the programme in a situation where churches, business places are attacked with several people becoming casualties.
His colleague, Rotimi Olowo, said he had lost confidence in the scheme before this critical period of the nation’s history.
Agunbiade recalled several tragedies that have befallen the corps members and added that they should rather be posted to areas where their safety would be guaranteed.
“Where you impose curfew from morning till night, even the essence of posting corpers there is defeated, because if they are going there as teachers, who would they teach?” he asked.
Others who supported the motion included Avoseh Hodewu Suru, who was particularly concerned about the safety of corps members from Lagos State and Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, who said the troubled areas of the north should have been blacklisted by the NYSC rather than planning to make parents go through grief.
“I don’t think anyone would want to give up his right to live just because he wants to serve for a year,” Tejuosho said.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Taiwo Kolawole, asked that a resolution of the House be sent to the NYSC and the National Assembly declaring their rejection of corpers posted to such areas.
Ikuforiji, while summing it up, said it gives people sleepless nights to know that their brothers and sisters are in trouble areas, adding that states have had cause to evacuate their indigenes.
He questioned the ability of the management of the scheme to protect the corpers and agreed that the protest was genuine.