Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has withdrawn 20 corps members from Famgbe Community, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over an attack by suspected cultists.
The NYSC had in March after cultists killed two serving corps members in Swali, also in Yenagoa Local Government Area threatened to withdraw corps members from the state if the insecurity of corps members persist.
Investigations revealed that NYSC directed the withdrawal of the corps members following the reported invasion of the lodge by suspected cultists who attacked corps members, tied them and carted away their belongings.
An eyewitness account said “After collecting their belongings, the hoodlums inflicted severe injuries on some the corps members with machetes, threatening to kill them if they dared to involve the police.”
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of NYSC in the State, Mr. Matthew Ngobua, said he has been informed of the withdrawal of corps members serving in Famgbe but that he has not been briefed on what led to their withdrawal.
“Yes, the Yenagoa Zonal Inspector of the NYSC confirmed to me that corps members serving in Famgbe Community have been withdrawn but he has not told me the reason why they were withdrawn.
“Once I am fully briefed I would give you all the details you need. But it is our decision that corps members be withdrawn from areas where they don’t feel safe.”
Agbasa Ogilizibe, the youth president of Famgbe Community has however pleaded with the NYSC to rescind its decision and deployed the corps members back to the community as youths of the community have put necessary arrangements in place to forestall a future reoccurrence of the ugly incident.
“Actually some armed youths suspected to be cultists invaded their lodge and robbed them of their belongings and they said they were going to report the incident at their office. I pleaded with them to hold on, so we work out modalities to ensure they are safe all through their stay but they refused and went ahead to report the incident before they were withdrawn.
“It is our responsibility to contribute to their safety but you know security is everybody’s business. We have three schools in our community and the schools do not have more than three teachers each.
“So the withdrawal of the Corps Members is really affecting learning in the schools. We are appealing with them to come back because we are ready to do everything within our power to ensure they protected against such attacks.”