No Ghost Corpers In NYSC, I Just Learnt
Last week, this column ran a piece on a petition the non-governmental body that I coordinate received from some concerned Nigerians with knowledge about the workings of the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC] as insiders which primarily centered on two allegations- fraud and existence of ghost corpers in the scheme over the years.
As soon as the column became public knowledge this writer was again inundated by official responses from knowledgeable figures working for the NYSC in the head office in Abuja who also provided for sighting certain documentary evidence to demonstrate their claims that the allegations leveled against the NYSC by the anonymous petitioners were fraught with factual inaccuracies and where therefore unsubstantiated.
I demanded to have copies of such valid counter claims since we are in the process of proceeding with further mechanism of seeking a transparent probe but after series of brainstorming sessions we all came out with a conviction that indeed there are no ghost participants at the annual national service scheme especially under the current management.
My self and my management team of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria [HURIWA] met over the weekend over this matter and decided to give the new management of the NYSC the benefits of the doubts because we were convinced based on available information that indeed in the past couple of years they may have taken transparent measures to make the necessary refunds of unspent funds annually going by the sighting of some of these vital information which were however said to be classified information.
We also decided to file a Freedom of information Request to be able to obtain copies of these official response and in due course you our dear readers will be fully informed but be rest assured that we have from the benefit of hindsight decided to give the current management of NYSC that has just came into office some quality time to settle down and to inform us on strategies being put in place to ensure that the principles of accountability and transparency which are at the core of the current administration's transformation agenda are made the operational hallmark of the NYSC all over Nigeria.
Our Take on Nigerian Borders:
President Good luck Jonathan has taken a number of policy decisions that are pro-people. One typical example is the recent introduction of the victims' of insurgency support endowment fund headed by the immensely rich and resourceful General Theophilus Danjuma [rtd] which as we were told surpassed its initial funding expectation because of the generosity of some good Nigerians and statesmen/women who have passionate concern about the plight of the victims of the genocidal massacres carried out by the armed Islamic insurgents in the North East over the last three years.
But seriously, most Nigerians are aghast regarding the decision of the President to let the sleeping [but troubling] dog lie in the ministry of interior where Mr. Abba Moro from Benue state holds sway as the minister in charge. He it was who supervised the national tragedy that saw the untimely killings in series of job stampedes of over a dozen Nigerian youth who were lured into buying recruitment forms far and above the number of vacant positions available at the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Many months after this national massacre, the minister who superintended the official mess is still roaming the corridors of power.
But day after day, facts are emerging regarding why this man from Benue state [Abba Moro] who prefers to be called a comrade should not preside over as the Interior affairs minister.
With the threats of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease [EVD] which became pandemic in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, most Nigerians expected that the land and sea borders into Nigeria from these affected countries [remotely or otherwise] would have been closed even as the international airports are placed under the highest position of vigilance and flights from the affected nations banned from flying into Nigeria.
The Ministry of Interior still insists [to the chagrin of right thinking Nigerians] that there was no need to shut our borders. The minister is dead wrong on this just as he was in the surreptitious role he allegedly played that occasioned the circumstances that led to the killing of many Nigerian youthful job seekers.
Camerounian government has even closed the borders with Nigeria saying thus; “The border closures with our main trading partner will be lifted, as soon as Nigeria contains the spread of the deadly viral disease....”
Emmanuel Onwubiko; Head; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria; blogs @www.huriwa.blogspot.com; www.huriwa.org.