Posted by News Express | 26 May 2021 | 458 times
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to jealously guide against any attempt from whatever quarters to tinker negatively with the National Youths Service Corp Scheme (NYSC).
It noted that as far as most civil rights practitioners in Nigeria are concerned, this government has made remarkable milestones in the youth sector, adding that the consistent strides made by President Buhari to sustain the only legacy that reminds us of our national unity, which is the NYSC, has become a beacon of hope for generations yet unborn.
Said the rights group: “On no account should any negative force be permitted to succeed in scuttling the NYSC. What we expect is for all hands to be on deck to consolidate on the gains made by the NYSC and to strengthen its operational capacity.”
HURIWA and its continental arm – the Association of African Writers on Human and Peoples Rights (AFRIRIGHTS) appealed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to throw away the reported proposal through a constitutional alteration bill to abolish the NYSC scheme as moved by a member of parliament.
HURIWA said it was scandalous to read that whereas committed statesmen are thinking of ways and means to upgrade the operational and funding capability of the pillar of unity which is the NYSC, the House of Representatives is said to be considering discontinuation of the NYSC scheme.
HURIWA recalled that there is currently a Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria's Alteration Bill, 2020, which is seeking to repeal the NYSC Act, and media reports say it is billed for the second reading.
The sponsor, Mr. Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in the explanatory memorandum of the proposal, listed the various reasons why the NYSC should be scrapped.
It read in part, “This bill seeks to repeal Section 315(5)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) on the following grounds:
“Incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; incessant kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country;
“Public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths, thus relying heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed;
“Due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives considerations to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.”
However, HURIWA has threatened mass action should this negative piece of legislation be carried beyond its current status.
It expressed shock, consternation and disappointment that a serious national institution like the NYSC is being threatened with extinction without allowing Nigerians to debate the matter but instead the move to destabilise this longstanding fabric of our National harmony is only being discussed in hushed tones allowing the charade to even attain second reading before it was spontaneously leaked to the media thereby showing that it might be an action being executed in bad faith.
“We are very hopeful that both speaker of parliament and the Senate President are proud products of the Noble NYSC scheme and should ensure that no stone is left unturned to stop forthwith the retrogressive March to infamy which is what the proposal to end the NYSC Scheme represents.”
HURIWA said the tepid and laughable excuses of Insecurity and allied circumstances adduced as collective raison d’etre for contemplating such a National suicidal move of abolition of NYSC, does not hold water.”
The rights group described the NYSC Scheme as the most viable bridge to national unity even as the group said these trying times of divisions, calls for separation of the country by mostly younger citizens is even the best time to consolidate on the gains made by NYSC.
It is tragic for any rational being to even contemplate scrapping the only Institution that unify the youths of all ethnicities, HURIWA affirmed.
“Can we once more remind the National Assembly that NYSC is meeting the legal obligations for which it was set up. Indeed, NYSC is one Institution that is helping to douse tension and check insecurity because it is such a watershed platform that keeps thousands of youths busy all year round.”
HURIWA applauded President Buhari and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Director General of the NYSC for keeping the flame of scheme burning and meeting its objectives as are clearly spelt out in Decree No. 51 of June 16, 1993.
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