Sola Ojo, Kaduna
National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Monday, said, it would not take any chances by allowing posting of corps members to any identified volatile areas in Kaduna State to serve as ad-hoc staff during the forthcoming elections.
The Public Relations Officer, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kaduna office, Sani Abdulfatah had last week, said, serving corps members who were interested in serving as ad-hoc staff would be posted across all the 23 local government areas because there would be a provision of security for them during the exercise.
Reacting to this development, the Coordinator of the scheme in the state, Hajiya Walida Siddique said for some time now, corps members have not been posted to Birni Gwari and Kajuru local government areas due to security threats in the two councils and would not do so now because of the elections.
“You know we don’t have corps members serving in volatile areas in Kaduna State. Is it during the election that we will take them there? No. We don’t want to endanger the lives of any of our corps members.
“We are afraid of those volatile areas. Most of our corps members are not from Kaduna and so, they don’t know the terrain much. What I’m saying, in essence, is that they don’t know the terrain and when there is any unrest, they may decide to run and run into another problem.
“Five of them currently serving in Birni Gwari are there because they have chosen to be there. We made them signed an undertaking to that effect. They are there because they are indigenous people and married in the communities where they are serving.
“There is no single corps member in Kajuru and as such, there is no how we can post corps members there during this election.
“In fact, there is no compulsion in participating. It is voluntary. NYSC is not compelling any corps members to serve as ad-hoc staff. Those that are there in Birni Gwari are not even interested in participating in the elections.
“As we speak, we are also working with the DSS in case they uncover any other area that is not safe so we don’t post corps members there,” said.
She also suggested the need for INEC, to make NYSC staff supervisors, “at least one NYSC staff everywhere so we can all have peaceful elections. This is because NYSC staff will be able to douse any tension that may arise anywhere during the election.”