The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said if the need arises, corps members can be mobilised for war.
Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ while countering calls to scrap the scheme, he said corps members were available and ready to take up national duties when called upon.
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According to him, “Corps members 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 can imagine within the short three weeks in the orientation camps, the corps members are molded. They are like soldiers. You see female corps members blowing the army horn, playing with the military band.”
Cautions corps members on safety
Ibrahim said the scheme was concerned about the security of corps members, hence the management has always advised the corps members on the need to avoid late night outings and unnecessary journeys without the permission of their state coordinators.
He noted that in the recent calls by various parts of the country for secession, NYSC had become more important as the scheme was all about unity.
He mentioned that corps members who must travel should ensure not to travel after 6pm and they should look out for any corpers lodge in the state they find themselves at the moment.
No need to scrap NYSC
Ibrahim decried that the issue of insecurity in the country was not enough reason to scrap the scheme, stressing that, a large number of corps members were serving in the rural areas and they were making their impacts in those areas.
According to him, he had made a call for the establishment of a National Youth Trust Fund where loans would be given to corps members to start businesses at the completion of their one year mandatory service.
He said the scheme, since inception, had been able to foster national unity and cohesion as well as several marriages.
“There are a lot of inter-marriages. For most of our females, the history of their marriages can be traced to their service year because they meet their fiancées during their service year. I have had cause to attend such weddings and the NYSC supports such weddings,” he said.