The creation of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme by the Federal Government of Nigeria has brought numerous joy and sorrows to many families. The scheme is well applauded because of the role it has been playing in unifying Nigerians after the Nigerian/ Biafra war. To some, this scheme has changed their story from dungeon to the palace while for others it had been from palace to sorrow. It is a historical fact that many promising bread winners of families have lost their lives or even disfigured while participating in this scheme. I am also aware that NYSC scheme has uplifted many institutions and is still in the business of doing so.
However, the story of Progressive Secondary school Umunya formerly known as Anglican Girl’s Grammar School Umunya is quite different. This is because ever since the NYSC was granted permission to use their facilities for temporary orientation camp for the past 28 years, the school has moved from glory to grass. A school of over 3000 boarders has less than 200 students at present. One may ask why? The reason is because whenever, the NYSC will be doing their 3 weeks orientation camp, students of the schools will be relocated. What will be the fate of such school considering that the NYSC now had 3 streams of orientation Camp every year? The extent of the damage cannot be imagined.
Worse still is that for the past 28 years, neither the Federal Government nor the State Government can boast of any infrastructural development in the school premises. The existing structures have dilapidated due to the number of people making use of the facilities. It is unbelievable that a facility used by the federal Government institution under the watch of the Anambra state government had no access road. Someone may ask Why? The possible answer may be that Progressive Secondary school Umunya belongs to Diocese on the Niger Anglican Communion. If not so, it would have been developed. It is heart breaking that within these years, the school has lost many of its valuable equipments that amount to millions of naira without anyone caring about it. For instance, the school big generator set worth millions has been missing without neither the NYSC having an answer. What about the over 3000 beds in the school? A school well known for her good laboratory facilities can no longer boast of it in a broad day light. Why? The truth remains, it is because Diocese on the Niger is involved.
The magnitude of the calculated and purposeful destruction done to Progressive secondary school Umunya calls for all meaningful and good spirited individuals to demand for justice. A school that accommodated NYSC for the past 28 years without collecting rent of any kind and payment is worthy to be compensated. In view of this, the Federal Government and the Government of Willie Obiano is called upon to compensate the school with the sum of Two hundred and fifty million naira for the interest of justice. If nothing is done, it borders on the fact that it is because I (Diocese on the Niger Anglican Communion) am involved.
It is an irony that the NYSC that used, and destroyed one’s facility for the past 28 years is today crying fouls to attract unnecessary sympathy. The truth remains that as a result of the activities of NYSC at Progressive Secondary School Umunya for the past 28 years, the school is bleeding furiously and seriously needs an urgent attention.
•Magnus Igwe writes from Onitsha