The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim has said that the Scheme is part of National Defence Policy, and in energy serving corps members can be drafted to war if the need arises.
Ibrahim, offered this explanation during a Channels TV ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Wednesday, June 2, while reacting to moves to scrap the NYSC scheme which is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate before the age of 30.
According to the DG, “Corps members are on reserve. They are part of the national defence policy of this country. So, where there is serious war, our corps members are educated. They are knowledgeable and they can be trained. You see the drill and so on.
“You can imagine within the short three weeks in the orientation camps, the corps members are moulded. They are like soldiers. You see female corps members blowing the army horn, playing with the military band.
“So, if not for the knowledge; where are you going to mobilise such young Nigerians to train them quickly to put in their best for the country? So, corps members are on reserve. They are also part of the national defence policy.”
He said the NYSC is concerned about the security of corps members and that is why they had been advised not to move around at night.
Ibrahim argued that the NYSC had become more important than ever in the face of the rising calls for secession.
He stated that he had advised corps members not to travel outside the state or the country without the permission of the state coordinator, adding that corps members had been urged not to travel after 6 pm; but are free to sleep at any corpers’ lodge while travelling.
Ibrahim said corps members had played a huge role in educating children in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.
The DG maintained that the insecurity in the country was not enough reason to scrap the scheme; adding that to date, 75 per cent of corps members are still serving in rural areas across the country.
However, in a statement to clarify the DG’s position which was largely misconstrued, said, “This is to clarify the misrepresentation of the NYSC Director- General’s recent interview with the media currently trending on the social media.”
The Director-General had stated that in line with the National Defence Policy, Corps Members are like soldiers on reserve, because their education, exposure and sophistication, can make them easily adaptable to military training.
He charged them to remain focused and patriotic; and for the spirit of NYSC to live in all Nigerians.
General Ibrahim never at any point said that Corps Members are being mobilised to fight war.
The Scheme shall continue to safeguard the interest of Corps Members at all times.