In reaction to the mounting controversy over an alleged “security guide from NYSC instructing parents to prepare money for kidnappers for their wards going for mobilization”, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Monday faulted unscrupulous individuals who are doing everything possible to discredit or even scrap the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC).
In a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of the rights body, HURIWA expressed worries that a programme, which serves as a bridge between school and real-life work, is battling cocktails of lies, half-truths and speculations orchestrated to sow seeds of doubts and anxiety in the minds and hearts of Nigerians.
HURIWA’s statement partly read, “On Thursday, September 23, 2021, a page purportedly containing the advice for the corps and staff on reaching out to the family and friends when plying such routes that the NYSC described as “high risk” had flooded the social media.
“The handbook, which is titled; ‘Security Awareness and Education Handbook For Corps Members and Staff,’ on its page 56, purportedly advised both corps members and staff travelling on “high-risk” roads to alert their family members, friends and colleagues to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded in case they’re kidnapped.
“Luckily, the proactive managers of the NYSC have also ably provided responses to this scandal by elements who are assiduously working behind the scenes to vilify NYSC to appease their instincts.
“In the report, the NYSC was also accused of risking the lives of 9,100 corps members deployed to the seven states in the North-West region; where at least, 189 persons have been killed and 376 persons were abducted in Zamfara and Kaduna states alone.
“Reacting to two reports, the NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations; Adenike Adeyemi (Mrs), alleged that the unsubstantiated reports were published to create apprehension in the minds of parents, guardians and other stakeholders.
“Also, there was a certain disturbing effort to spread some toxic rumours that the DG of NYSC was against Christian worships within the NYSC Camps. Ironically, the Director General, though a sound and good Moslem is married to a Roman Catholic Christian adherent and so can’t possibly be categorized as a hater of Christians”, HURIWA said.