In the meantime, news about the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps has been making rounds on social media. According to Sahara Reporters, the scheme may be discontinued as “the NYSC Act, is billed for the second reading by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Alteration Bill, 2020, which is seeking to invalidate it.” However, as valid as the premises for this bill may seem, they are not reasons enough, rather, excuses that paint a clear picture of irresponsible leadership.
The sponsor of the bill, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante postulated insecurity and the use-and-dump practice of both public and private agencies of corp members for the proscription of the NYSC.
“Incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country;
“Public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed;
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives considerations to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.”
You will recall that sequel to the civil war that lasted for 3 years, between July 6, 1967, and January 15, 1970, the NYSC scheme was established on May 23, 1973, under Decree No. 24 of 1973 for reconciliation and reintegration of Nigerians. Since, the scheme has lived to the purpose of its creation until a few years ago when insurgency became a stubborn tenant in Nigeria.
Every Nigerian youth deserves an NYSC experience. A year’s opportunity to serve their fatherland in different capacities. Aside from para-military training they receive, they are exposed to the other sides of the world they identify with. It is one of the most defining times of their lives when they make certain decisions that affect their future. So, denying Nigerian youths this opportunity because of the already said reasons is unacceptable.
Truly, the whirling vortex of insecurity is a threat to Nigeria’s social peace and order and it should be a thing of concern because no good thing can thrive under such threat. However, the present-day government should cower in shame. The country has never had it this bad until it came. If at all Nigeria is suffering from the misrule of past government as it claims, it is its responsibility to fix the country at all cost.
In this fragile time when Nigeria is on the verge of collapsing, one of the walls that bind us together is the NYSC. If it is discontinued, it will be a bonus for secessionists and it wil add more feathers to their fluttering wings and make them soar above almost all limits. The Nigerian leadership should therefore stop parading itself as failure shamelessly, trumpeting groundless excuses for the national malady its dull torpor has caused us.