Why FG Must Insure National Youth Service Corps Members.
Sometimes in April 2010, I want to the Michika Local Government Area secretariat to sort out some paper work about my house. During the course of that my visit I saw a group of Youth Corps Members about 12 of them or there about. Out of curiosity I greeted them in the Kamwe Language by saying 'Samewaa' and to my surprise they all chorused back to me 'Yewaa'. Again their answer encouraged me to go a step further and I still asked them in the Kamwe Language 'Tsima ve yee?' They still chorused back to me 'Kulinge.' Boy, my joy knew no bound and I asked one of them 'Wa thena?' She still surprised me to answer Bimpe.
I deliberately spoke to them in my native Kamwe Language to gauge their assimilation into their host communities being on national service. That singular experience has left a mark in my heart that the National Youth Service Corps is indeed the best form of promotion of national unity in diversity.
For the benefit of my readers, Michika Local Government is in Adamawa State and in fact Northern axis of the state. Miss Bimpe the Youth Corp Member travelled all the way from the South west over 2000 KM to perform a national duty. I guess that might have been her first time in Michika or even Adamawa State. In her short stay in Michika she was able to learn the Kamwe Language which is the native language of her host community and was even eager to communicate with it.
The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is the best promoter of the much sought after National Unity. The corps members deal directly and live amongst their host communities.
They do not live in Barracks like the military or the police. They are always available to perform other national duties like voters' registration for election and national census collation.
Unfortunately Corps Members having been at receiving end lately from miscreants and hooligans who do not know the value of good education and national unity.
During the crisis in Jos in November 2008, four innocent Youth Corps Members were murdered in cold blood by rioting hooligans. Again recently there was this news on BBC Hausa service and also in the Daily Trust newspapers that rioting hooligans again in Dambatta Kano State burnt down Corpers lodge in the town.
Those of us parents cannot afford to send our children on National service only to be killed by uneducated miscreants who do not know the value of education. One of those attacked in the corpers' lodge in Dambatta Kano State for example is a medical doctor by the name of Dr Morris Agada. For a person to become a doctor or a Lawyer in Nigeria takes a period of schooling for 18 years. A parent cannot train his child for 18 years only for a hooligan to cut down the life of such a person in his prime.
The Federal Government of Nigeria must as a matter of urgent importance provide special security and protection for corps members.
The national assembly must enact a law to insure each and every corps member during the service year.
If the Federal Government can protect and insure our children in view of the Jos and Dambatta Kano experience, then there is no need to send our children to strange lands to be killed by illiterate hooligans who do not know the value of education.
The Federal government must act urgently before mobilising graduate for the next service year. Iliya Yame Kwache writes from Michika in Adamawa State.