By Philip Agbese
The continuity of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Nigeria has been a constant debated topic by different unpatriotic political syndicates going around, parading a motley of dodgy and false reports that has crippled real context and given twisted interpretations to suit their nefarious agenda. The frequent use of different media outlets, groups, ethnic and religious differences, have been weaponised by those seeking to obtain or retain political power, and cause chaos in this country’s democratic stratosphere, and sociopolitical space.
Amidst many false twisted weaponized reports is Chike Obi’s impunity, animosity and incompetent report on the late Miss Chioma Eunice Igweike (of blessed memory) who was allegedly abducted and later found dead. His narratives were naturally propagated in subtle manners in digressing the point of focus which is from “tackling the causes of insecurity” to “Results of Untackled insecurities”, where NYSC falls in the list of its numerous after-effect.
One would agree with the basic fact that NYSC has contributed immensely to great exploration and contribution to different communities all round the nation, launching individuals to their next stage in life, and equipping them with necessary experiences needed to excel in their career path. Chike Obi was blinded to the many positive effects of the NYSC, and allowed his unbridled paid tongue speak out its emotional manipulations. The entire piece was a shameful and condescending as well as disparaging without strong factual evidence of the listed incidents, but mere speculations and hearsays used against the choice of governance, and the NYSC as a blackmail for deliberate apparent reasons that revealed him to the world as a paid urchin.
However, in proper analysis and correction to Chike’s misled, misconstrued and misguided report, the following are worthy of note.
NYSC is the best way to imbibe the spirit of Nationalism in our youths. It makes young individuals understand that they are Nigerians and not just Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas and other tribes in the country. Meeting people from different parts of the country helps an individual understand other cultures and promotes unity amongst diversity. Apart from allowing a young individual explore another aspect of culture from the one he or she grew up in, NYSC has helped equip individuals with multiple skills needed to succeed in the labour market apart from those that have been instilled in the individual by his or her alma mater.
If national unity is the goal, then making it voluntary would defeat its purpose.
From his excerpt,
Chioma Eunice Igweike left her house on Wednesday, July, 20, 2022, for the three weeks orientation course at the Ogun State NYSC camp. Her friends and former course mates said the Federal Polytechnic Oko graduate was kidnapped and killed by suspected ritualists and dumped somewhere.
However, the factual check in the statement released in Abuja by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Eddy Megwa says, “Sadly, on July 21, her remains which were intact and not mutilated as reported in the media were recovered along sagamu-Imota Road and deposited in the morgue.”
From the above clarification, it’s not arguable that Chike Obi needs mental rehabilitation and outright restriction from the media space. But it’s unfortunate that since the advent of smart phones and unrestricted accessibility to internet, even a well-trained monkey can make its zoo publication to the world.
The mortality rate of youth corps members across the federation has been blown out of proportion by different media outlets just to make matters become a serious concern as a means of fueling their different propaganda against the NYSC and the Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration. In their bid to ridicule the scheme, it was further stated that some died in the orientation camps. This claims were not backed with facts, places of incident, or proper evidence that have undergone scrutiny before publishling.
Consequently, the national youth service has been having unrelenting fun which every member can attest to even at their places of primary assignment. The frightening development caused by media uproar on banditry and Terrorism around the country in a bid to cause unrest, and citizens distrust in this present government has led to tight upgrade on the security of every youth corps member in their respective states. Many parents and guardians now feel relaxed on the news gotten from their wards on the provisions of the high level of security as against what reporters like Chike Obi are throwing at the media space to cause frenzy.
With the emergence of the NYSC Trust Fund Bill, conceived plans on the upgrade of monthly youth corps payment, and different approaches to include more skills for the serving youths to upgrade themselves, undergraduates are now eager to leave the four corners of their institutions to serve their fatherland.
The government also understood that having suffered to train up a child to tertiary education, one cannot just embark on a mission that may end in death. The aggrieved pain of having a stillborn cannot be easily contained, let alone a grownup. The life of every citizen is precious to the government, and they won’t let them loose it to any form of terror attack.
The youths are the future of tomorrow’s Nigeria. Understanding how precious a single life is, and knowing the type of great change an elected leader(a youth) can cause in a country, we ask ourselves why would anyone place the lives of many youths on a political chess board just because they want to discredit an administration that has different political views from theirs, or an administration that won’t dance to their selfish tunes.
The answer is that Chike Obi is merely executing a script, and he’s just a political-puppet controlled by different handlers that are ready to offer a fat cheque at will. He is serving the interest of those who having found nothing to smear the President with, have now zeroed in on the effects on kidnapping and ritualist fault-lines effects on the NYSC scheme alone just to scaremonger and cause disaffection.
Chike’s frivolous and baseless accusations against the NYSC Scheme must then be understood as an execution of this strategy in collusion with opposing political figures who are threatened by the cumulative ground-breaking achievements by the president, especially in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.
Does Chike know the effects of peddling substandard reports to pull down a visionary scheme?
Yes he does. It is impossible to wake a man who Pretends to be asleep. Or put it as, a man who receives huge payments to feign slumber. He needs these to meet his responsibilities and he doesn’t care about the dangerous implications of his actions on innocent lives. He is already set in his ways for eternal destruction that is looming around the corner.
Regardless, to assuage the fears of those who may have been lured by Chike Obi’s undaunted, sophistry and seductive propaganda, it’s been exposed that his piece concerning the scrapping of the NYSC Scheme is baseless and worthless. I only offer these explicit clarifications to set the records straight and present the true picture of things to unsuspecting Nigerians who may be led to think that Chilke’s ability to subtly mince words in his putrid articles amounts to knowledge on the subject he discusses. He is a paid propagandist who makes a living from spreading lies and shielding the truth with baseless conspiracy theories aimed at stirring ethno-religious divisiveness. Nothing more, nothing less.
Finally, the NYSC Scheme will forever be sustained, because it has birthed many great leaders that have upheld mantra of growth and development in this nation. Government should come up with different measures to sanction and limit different propagandists and false publications that cause unrest in the nation. The security status should further be leveled up to protect the Youth Corps members from the hands of terrorists seeking to use their lives as a gameplay against our country Nigeria.
Agbese is a seasoned human rights advocate based in the United Kingdom.