The Nigeria Federal Government has decreed that corps members posted to restive states in the north where Boko Haram violence has led to the death of thousands, will remain there, dismissing an earlier decision by the National Youth Service Corps to have them redeployed.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, said corps members posted to Boko Haram base, Borno State, Yobe State, Plateau, Kano, Kaduna and other restive areas of the north will remain there.
He said the FG is overruling a directive by the DG of the NYSC that the fresh batch of corpers be redeployed because changing their initial postings due to safety concerns would require constitutional amendments to the law that established the scheme in the first place.
Abdulkadir said the House of Representatives, who passed the resolution demanding that NYSC members must remain in troubled states, were on the side of the law.
The minister said, “Talking about the National Assembly’s resolution vis-a vis our position here. My position is that of the law.
“Of course, the NYSC initially was established through a military decree in 1973 because of its potential to the existence of Nigeria as a nation.
“And in pursuance of a deliberate policy to set up something that will always and continue to integrate Nigerians and bring about harmony amongst Nigerians, among other things, the framers of the 1979 Constitution deemed it fit to make the NYSC law part of the constitution.
” So if you are going to make any amendment to the NYSC or alter anything, you have to alter the constitution. That is the position.
“In that regard, posting of corps members to states, apart from their own, except in some special circumstances, is governed by the law and must be adhered to.”
Sacrifice to the nation
The Federal Government in upholding NYSC laws is yet to address the issue of safety of NYSC members who are currently on ground in areas besieged by Boko Haram insurgency.
Over 600 people have been killed in sectarian violence this year alone and thousands more have fled flashpoint cities like Maiduguri, Damaturu, Kano and more. Youth corpers posted to these areas are protesting their deployments over safety reasons. However, Abdulkadir told journalists to remember the Nigerians who died during the civil war.
The minister said, “don’t forget that a number of people went to the civil war. A number of Nigerians went to the war front they were killed they left families.
“There are people who up till now who for no fault of theirs because by circumstances they were born during the period of the war they were not armed they got incapacitated. They have disabilities and they are living with those disabilities because of the war. This is a sacrifice to the nation.”