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Emmanuel Onwubiko: NYSC: Regeneration of values

Posted by on September 9, 2021 0

“Wherever I see truth, I follow it; Wherever I see peace, I pursue it; Wherever I see justice, I insist on it-John Cardinal Onaiyekan: (LET THE TRUTH PREVAIL By John Cardinal Onaiyekan with Emmanuel Ojeifo)”

In the last fourteen active years, I have had to spend about fifty percent of my working periods to coordinate the global activities of a group of creative writers dedicated to advancing the distinctive human rights causes known as the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).

In the last couple of weeks, we have been meeting as a planning panel to organize the year 2021 National Human Rights lecture which we agreed should come up on September 29th.

As tradition demands, the core members of the planning committee meet every other day and in that sense we met for about two hours today’s morning in form of a very light breakfast parley just as the discussion centred around the chosen theme for this year’s intellectual symposium of HURIWA. The theme is on the Nigerian School Children, Insecurity and Human Rights.

As we brainstormed on who the major lecturer of the day would be and we ended up nominating a one time Chevening scholar Abiodun Adeniyi, who is an associate Professor of Communications study at the prestigious Baze University in Abuja, one of us suggested that we also find time to practically suggest to President Muhammadu Buhari to endeavor to deliver an effective public service reforms.

As part of these expected reforms in our considered opinion is the need to fundamentally boost the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) and clothe the agency with the power and the necessary finances to take on the national assignment of taking mass mobilization and national orientations to all corners of Nigeria. This is because the NYSC has some of the most extensive grassroots reach and tentacles and the activities and duties of the young participants impacts directly on the lives of virtually all the residents of the rural communities much more than any of our existing national development initiatives. Also, the shining leadership examples of the current hierarchy of the NYSC led by Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has shown that given the right support, the NYSC could be better positioned to meaningfully and constructively carry out regular mass mobilization and orientation of Nigerians.

It was therefore our conclusion that we will begin technical works on how the federal administration can successfully merge the moribund and inactive National Orientation Agency (NOA) to become a department within the National Youths Service Corp Scheme.

It was a consensus opinion that NYSC is better positioned, better and much more professionally efficient to carry on the added national task of waging mass mobilization for our citizens so as to reinvigorate the echoes of hope and reduce frictions and inter- ethnic disharmony that is tearing down the basic fabrics of peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.

Moreover we observed with profound empirical evidence that the National Orientation Agency has failed woefully which informs why many Nigerians have become disenchanted with the scheme of things in the Country to an extent that some persons are even campaigning that young Nigerian Athletes should rather become citizens of other nations rather than represent Nigeria at global sporting activities.

If truth be told, we observed that each time the NYSC holds its camping across the country the messages that trickle out and from the different states and resonate powerfully are messages of patriotism, messages of integration and gospel of mass mobilization of the youngsters to be their better selves.

The current batch of NYSC orientation Camps has significantly recorded milestones and from most of what was said at the different states and what took place, there are indeed echoes of hope and a reassurance that the efforts of our heroes past in setting up the NYSC Scheme has yielded and is bearing fruits of peace, fruits of self discovery by the Youths and the awareness that becoming creators of wealth is the best way to attain lofty heights.

An intriguing event of the past few days within the NYSC was the donation of a digital library by a participant in the NYSC and we were told that the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Registrar- General contributed to making the young Corps member with a unique physique but enormously talented to achieve this phenomenal task.

We will very shortly read more details on it. But first, as writers, we are impressed that a very young Nigerian has chosen to follow this historical path of contributing to scholarship and to promote the reading culture in Nigeria which is waning especially in the face of the sudden rampage by different social media platforms that totally take the attention of young people away from their books.

Now this is how the media captured the donation of a digital library to the NYSC by a youth Corps member in Abuja on Tuesday September 7th 2021.

The media reports that a young corps member, Ahmad Abubakar, has used his compulsory one year service to enrich NYSC.

The young Nigerian man donated a digital library to the service to allow easy access to materials.

Abubakar who was appreciated by NYSC DG said that he took on the project as he saw that manual libraries are becoming ancient.

A corps member with the name Ahmad Abubakar has made a big donation of a digital library to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as his personal Community Development Service (CDS) project.

According to the NYSC Facebook post, the corps member said that normal libraries are becoming a thing of old all over the world, and that is why the need for digital libraries is important.

The young man added that he decided to work on the project because he wants to help the service to enrich its resourcefulness to corps members and staff.

With the new project, access to NYSC materials will be digitalized and that will help easy access. The man stated that he was able to source funds in getting things like printers, book scanners, a server, among others.

Understandably, the director-general of the NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, appreciated his gesture as he described the young man as an honest and dedicated corps member.
The DG, therefore, implored other members to follow in Abubakar’s footsteps and provide projects people will remember them for.

Another Corps member renovates classrooms.

It was reported too that a Nigerian lady, Iheoma Sunday, has used her one-year NYSC programme to make many smile.

Taking to her LinkedIn page, Iheoma said that she took it upon herself to raise awareness and source for funds to renovate classrooms in disuse.

She revealed that with the help of the project, students who could not continue their education because they lacked conducive environments to learn returned to their classes.

This event is significant because if the youth are adequately read, they will have the presence of mind to embark on self-development because of the increasing scarcity of white collar jobs in the Country.

This was the point highlighted when Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, expressed concern over the rate of unemployment in the country.

He made this known, during the swearing-in of the 2021 Batch B Stream 2 corps members in Bauchi State.
The DG, who was represented by the State Coordinator, Hamisu Abubakar, said the scheme was meticulous in the implementation of its Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, to prepare corps members for self-employment and wealth creation.

He, however, assured corps members that the Federal Government was leaving no stone unturned to address unemployment.

I initially hinted that this week is unique amongst the NYSC participants and this uniqueness was marked by the birth of fresh babies by a Corps member who had only just registered for her orientation camp. A member of the National Youth Service Corps was visited at the hospital by the Director General of the scheme after giving birth to twins.

Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim visited Adamgba Clara Sewuese and urged the medical director of the hospital to properly take care of her and the twins.

Adorable photos of the DG’s visit were shared on social media and Nigerians commended the DG for his kindheartedness.

A member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Nasarawa state, Adamgba Clara Sewuese, has given birth to a set of male twins.

Sewuese was visited at the hospital by the Director General (DG) of the scheme, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim.
The disclosure was made on Facebook by NYSC, which stated that Ibrahim appealed to the medical director of the hospital, Doctor Eno Enang, to properly take care of the lady and her kids.

“The DG who congratulated the couple for safe delivery specifically commended the mother of the twins for being patriotic by obeying the clarion call to serve her fatherland.”

Tombu Richard, the corps member’s husband, expressed gratitude to the DG for his fatherly love towards his family.
According to the statement, Sewuese is an indigene of Benue state and a graduate of accounting from Veritas University, Abuja.

New report says Nigerians on social media soon flooded the comment section of the post to commend Ibrahim for his kindness.

Rabi’at Ishiaku said: “Looking forward to more of such good news. Thank you DG.
You are a role model, few days ago you were at bayelsa for same purpose, may God bless you,” Mary Edeh OnoJa commented.

“Congratulations. God bless the Director-general for all his kindness towards humanity.”

Sam Jegs wrote: “This Director General is indeed a Father. God bless you and keep you in all your traveling’s.” Oluwaseun Steve Popoola said: “Congratulations to the family.

Thanks to God for the safe delivery. God bless the DG.” Abubakar Muhammad Sadiq commented:

“If I were you I will Name the baby after DG.”

Just before we drew the curtain to a close at the planning session for our yearly lecture aforementioned, we unanimously applauded the NYSC for showing solidarity to the parents of a Corps member who passed on recently.

The National Youth Service Corps presented a cheque of N1 million as death benefit to the family of late corps member, Mr Chikwado Ezururike in Abia.

The cheque, which is the insurance cover, was presented to the family at the NYSC Abia Secretariat in Umuahia on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ezururike and four others lost their lives on their way from Uyo in Akwa Ibom to the NYSC Orientation Camp in Katsina State.

NAN also reports that Ezuruike, a graduate of History and International Studies of the University of Uyo, and the four others were involved in the auto crash along Abuja-Kwali Expressway on July 28.

Mr Emmanuel Ayeniko, the Assistant Director (Insurance), NYSC Headquarters, Abuja, presented the cheque to the deceased family on behalf of the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.

While presenting the cheque, Ayeniko condoled with the family, saying, “We know that this amount cannot replace lost life, but it is a token to say we feel with you.”

He said that NYSC official was also in Uyo to present the insurance benefits to other deceased families, who hailed from Akwa Ibom. By way of explanation, this article is purely a work done in appreciation of the young Nigerians who are making Nigeria proud and at the same time serving us selflessly. The article is therefore a fitting tributes to these resilient Nigerian youngsters doing their NYSC.

The article is a work of appreciation from the heart. I conclude this way because one of the key members of HURIWA expressed disappointment that the NYSC turned down the invitation extended to it to grace HURIWA’S 2021 NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LECTURE even when we do so much to support the organisation and I had to come up with this piece to demonstrate that we are more interested in supporting the institution our of a genuine love and patriotism and not because of what we hope to gain materially.

*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and was a federal commissioner at the National Human Rights commission of Nigeria.

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