From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) marks 48 years this June, Corps members serving in Kaduna State affirmed on Saturday that Nigeria is indivisible, calling on the federal government to investigate those calling for the Corps’ scrapping.
To this crop of young Nigerians who cut across all of the country’s divides, the nation is stronger together as one entity, regardless of tribe, religious and political differences as witnessed during a solidarity march past at the Black Gold permanent orientation camp, Sabon Gaya, on Saturday.
To Maduakor Emmanuelle, an Anambra State indigene, who was in the North for the first time, ‘the NYSC as the largest youth mobiliser in the country has done the country a lot of good and should be sustained.
‘I’m so happy to be in this part of the country for the first time and that has allowed me to meet new people, make the newest friends and learn about different cultures. I learnt came making here on camp and I made that cake we used to mark the 48 anniversary. So, we are united here as young Nigerians.’
For Alexander Felix, ‘NYSC has given us such a platform to save some money for business after the service year. With about N30,000 monthly allowance, one can start a personal business.
‘In addition, I have a priviledge to learn a skill so I can be self-reliant. Calling for the scrapping of the scheme was in bad fate and I think it’s time the federal government beginning to investigate the authenticity of the NYSC certificate of those calling for the scrapping of the scheme.
‘This is because if they have served, they would have seen the need to strengthen the scheme instead of calling for its scrapping,’ he said.
Aisha Shehu Bello graduated from Kawara State University, Malete, and she believed that NYSC remains an adventure most young Nigerians look forward to after their graduations.
To her, ‘NYSC has brought us together. What I’m seeing here is different from what I read or hear in the media. I’m coming to the North for the first time and I’m staying to serve here in Kaduna. I’m not relocating because it is a one-time life opportunity that I cherish so much. I thank the federal government for the sustainability of NYSC 48 years after it was established.’
Aliyu Gadafi Adam, who hails from Bauchi State but schooled at the University of Maiduguri, noted that having spent less than a month in Kaduna, he has gained what he could not in all his years as an undergraduate which was tailoring.
‘We are enjoying the scheme. I have started learning tailoring right from this camp which I intended to carry forward into my life after the NYSC. It is something I look forward to. So, we are not in support of those calling for the scrapping of NYSC.’
Earlier, the Coordinator of NYSC in Kaduna, Isa Wana, described the action of the youth corps members as ‘proof that a united Nigeria, indivisible Nigeria should be our thinking and should reflect in our actions.
‘This is to prove to all that there is the need to imbibe the spirit of these Nigerian youths where we all celebrate and co-exist together with one another without bitterness.
‘The Nigerian youths have taught those calling for the scrapping of NYSC to have a rethink, forget the spirit of bitterness and embrace national cohesion as seen here today. NYSC still stands and it will continue to stand by the grace of God. We are one indivisible country,’ he said.