WHAT OFFENCE DID THE NYSC MEMBERS COMMIT?
The term 'Youth' refers to a state of being young, a sort of early life referring to the period immediately after childhood. It depends on how you use the word. Otherwise, the exact usage of the word subjectively affects people who fall within the age brackets of 14 to 40 years. If you pass the age of infancy as a baby, and childhood as a child, that is after 13 years the rest of the years from 14 to 40 categorizes one as a youth.
The depth of Nigeria's social ills has since political independence in 1960, been commented upon time and again at different stages of our national development. Despite the flood of commentaries on these national problems, the country continues to drift away. No lessons are learnt.
Few weeks ago corps members serving their fatherland were killed by agents of destruction during the recently concluded election. Their offence? Your guess is as good as mine: to ensure credible enthronement of democracy. The Corps members were deployed to do their jobs, but zealots of satanic practices did not like their work. They snuffed life out of them. Dare ask me where they hailed from, then the riddle is quickly solved. They were from the southern part of Nigeria!
Has anyone bothered to observe a moment's meditation why Nigeria enjoys the game of musical chairs, of miscalculated steps of staccato rhythm - forward movement, backward break dance, and topsy-turvy of movement ? Gowon's Military regime promulgated a decree on National Youth Service Scheme which to the best of my knowledge is geared towards Unity. Somehow put, 'my place is your place' but alas, what are we witnessing today? Hostility upon hostility!
The war, 'they' insist is over, but is it true? It is amazing seeing the reasons why the depth of Nigeria's hydra-headed social ills receive mere lip diagnosis, with no realistic approach to a long lasting solution, which yet appear not in sight. When the present is pregnant of the future, no one, not even sooth- sayers, parapsychologists, visioners, can accurately predict what will be given birth to, except God, Almighty the creator of all things. When Abel's blood, according to the Holy Writ touched the ground, the ground howled foul play!
Nigeria is a secular state according to the 1999 amended constitution, formerly of section 10 of the 1979 constitution.
It would, I think, amount to the greatest mistake made in history by any tribe to go contrary to that position of secularity. Anything done to contravene that section stands the risk of marring the unity of the country, and those involved in this subversive stance and bid, would not be forgiven by posterity.
Pen pushers and intellectuals, but not satirical writers have written unprecedented articles as part of their contributions to the unity of the nation, and have never desisted to do so as a way of exonerating themselves from the condemnation of posterity. It is sad the way things are going.
The present call from many concerned citizens that the National Youth Service Scheme be scrapped as a result of the mauled corps members during the just concluded election sends discordant signals to the spirit of its real notion by Gowon's Military regime. However, one needs to commend President Jonathan who sympathized with the families of slayed corps members and the nation in general.
His five million naria cash to each of the fallen corps members apart from other compensation packaged to assuage the loss is laudable. This is not the first mayhem suffered by corps members and other citizens from the other side of this country (mostly southerners), but nothing was done by previous administrations to checkmate or publicly address such ugly incidents.
At least President Jonathan has shown he has milk of human kindness in him, despite all odds. Yet more is required for posterity sake.
No Youth, no future for any nation. Nigerians are the target audience of this cry. What Offence Did The Corps Members Commit in Bauchi State that they were sent to untimely graves. This remains to be addressed. Justice is the answer.