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Why should our youth corpers be the sacrificial lambs?

27 July 2012, 10:07

It is no longer news that our youth corpers have been posted to highly volatile states like Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Kaduna and Kano once again. What baffles me is that such unfair decisions are being made by people whose children are nowhere close to such places.

It is enough trauma for parents to send their children to higher institutions and they are not even certain of when the child will be graduating {Save for private Universities}. ASUU is a factor they have to battle with and that is if the institution doesn’t experience internal crisis like student’s unrest and what have you.

All these contributes in ensuring a child who ordinarily should spend four years on a course using up to six years studying the same course and that have given birth to the saying tha ‘On gaining admission to a higher institution you spend 4+X number of years’. Sounds like a joke but this is the reality we have found ourselves in as a country.

On graduation from the higher institution, it is expected that the child must undergo a year of compulsory service to the Nation and that is where the NYSC scheme comes into play. Under this scheme, the graduate will to be posted to any part of the country where he/she is expected to carry out duties as the place of primary assignment dictates.

Before now, this scheme didn’t pose any threat to the lives of the youth corpers as their security was guaranteed regardless of what state they have been posted to. Corpers were treated with so much dignity and respect as the host community saw them as one of their own.

But since tribalism, ethnic difference and all sorts of religious intolerance have begun to rear its ugly heads, the story has changed. Corpers who used to be protected by members of the community have now become preys of the same whenever conflict of any form arises.

I remember the 2011 crisis which erupted in Bauchi State after our current president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was announced the winner of the presidential election. Some aggrieved parties in Bauchi state decided to turn their grievances on the youth corpers who at that time were serving in the state burning, killing, and maiming some of them whilst a large proportion of them sustained varying degree of injuries.

All these happened despite the corpers running to the nearest police station for succour. The Irate youths in this state overpowered the policemen on duty and were able to lay hands on these youth corpers. Till today, I honestly do not think anyone has been brought to book as the issue has been long forgotten.

Now with the seemingly insecure situations in these volatile parts of the country, I just cannot believe that a government who genuinely cares for the same citizens it has sworn on oath to protect will insist these young and vibrant youths be posted to places where their security isn’t guaranteed. Is anyone asking them why they haven’t brought their own children to serve the land in such unsafe places?

I thought being leaders, they will lead by example and allow their own children be posted to such places first then others can be convinced that really what is good for the goose is good for the gander. But NO, their children are safely tucked away in some foreign countries whilst they watch other people’s children who have chosen to serve their country being offered as sacrificial lambs on the altar of political/religious intolerance

What other definition of ‘UNFAIR’ can really match this?

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