Editorial

The plight of Youth Corpers

Reports about the plight of our young graduates from various tertiary institutions in the land regarding their postings to places of primary assignments for their national youth service have assailed our ears.

Such reports point to some unscrupulous officials of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who allegedly extort money from corps members for posting.

Reports are rife that some corpers are posted to places where basic amenities like light and potable  water are lacking, not to talk of other essentials such as accommodation and health-care facilities.

Those who are not willing to accept postings to such places especially in respect of insecurity, easily fall victims of certain mindless officials who cash-in on the situation to fleece the parents and guardians of such corpers.

Worse still, Shylock land lords further make things difficult for corpers seeking accommodation in their houses by demanding exorbitant rents for the period of national service.

The National Youth Service scheme was (and is, still) a well-thought-out programme for national integration. It should not, therefore, be turned into a punitive instrument in the hands of those who lack patriotic and noble ideals.

With the prevailing insecurity in the land, touched off by some mindless religious fundamentalists in the North, NYSC officials should be very wary of posting corpers to areas where there is no guarantee for their safety.

The officials should design a scheme whereby corpers from a particular geo-political zone are posted to communities in their zone, for security purposes, and not the present exercise where most Southern corpers are herded to Boko Haram-infested areas in the North.

Although such a measure, if adopted, would run counter to the noble ideal of cementing national integration, it should be borne in mind that personal safety is paramount.

The NYSC programme is due for review in view of the assaults and inconsistencies in its operation. It could be scrapped for good, in the alternative.

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