Beside the Boko Haram menace and fear of the north, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) now face a different front – corrupt NYSC officials.
Reports reaching our news desk had it that because of intense lobbying by the corpers and their parents and guardians to be posted to zones considered safe, some unscrupulous officials have commenced illegal deals with the interested corps members.
A distraught youth corps member who spoke to Christian Voice after their orientation lamented that he was posted to a very remote part of Cross River State, all alone, because he could not part with part of his monthly allowances.
He told our reporter that he had genuine reasons to demand reposting as he was the only corps member posted to the area and being a remote village, they had no accommodation for him.
He said that he approached a private firm to accept him and the proprietor of the firm scared him away by demanding eight months of his allowance.
In Bayelsa, Rivers and Imo States, tales of hardship by corps members are rife. Many of them had no accommodation at their places of primary assignment and so were left at the mercy of shylock landlords who demand as much as between N40,000 and N100,000 for one room for their service years.
Some who were given accommodation got places where there are no toilet facilities, thus, endangering their health.
A teacher in Imo State, Mr. Marcel Emeagi, whose son is serving in Bayelsa reiterated a call for the scheme to be scrapped because, according to him, Federal Government can no longer handle it.
“We cannot continue to endanger the lives of our youths in the name of serving the nation. It was Boko Haram, now they have to serve their nation in tears. Government should make it optional or fund it properly”, he said.
Meanwhile, a youth corps member posted to Imo State fell into the hands of criminals, aka. “one chance drivers” who disposed him of his belongings and drew him out of the vehicle.
The corps member who said he hailed from Kogi State, was admitted in a hospital in Orlu where he received treatment after the incident.
He was, however, treated free by the hospital and has since been discharged.