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Why Govt Shouldn’t Scrap NYSC – HURIWA



Fitness Certificate Now Compulsory Before Corps Members' Acceptance In Camps - NYSC

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned the federal government against succumbing to pressure to abolish the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC).

In a statement by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,  HURIWA gave several reasons why the scheme should be strengthened instead of scrapping it.

The group said : “If there is one thing the National Assembly has done exceedingly well since the return of the country to democracy in 1999, it is playing to the gallery. Inconsequential laws have always received greater attention while  the lacunas to be filled with progressive legislations and legislative interventions are left largely unattended to. One of such distractions is the proposed law for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme .

The proposed bill before the House of Representatives seeks to repeal Section 315(5)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) .

“The sponsor of the Bill, which has already reached 2nd Reading, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in the explanatory memorandum and Lead Debate, rolled out the various reasons the NYSC should be scrapped. His  main concern borders on the incessant killing of innocent corps members in some parts of the country due to banditry, religious extremism and ethnic violence; as well as kidnapping of innocent corps members across the country.

“Hon. Awaji-Inombek also noted that public and private agencies/departments are no longer recruiting able and qualified Nigerian youths because they prefer to rely heavily on the availability of corps members who are not being well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year without any hope of being gainfully employed. This argument is weak in the sense that tertiary education in Nigeria is heavily subsidized and NYSC is one opportunity the youths who are trained almost free at federal institutions can give back. Corps members have also been retained where there are vacancies. Corps members have also been a great augmentation to the teaching workforce and stopgap for the growing unemployment. The NYSC experience also offers corps members the first real working experience.

“Hon. Awaji-Inombek is also of the view that due to insecurity across the country, the National Youth Service Corps management now gives consideration to posting corps members to their geopolitical zone, thus defeating one of the objectives of setting up the service corps, i.e. developing common ties among the Nigerian youths and promoting national unity and integration. Rather than call for the scrapping of the scheme, a more progressive recommendation would have been how the government can secure the corps members on national service. His dwelling on insecurity as his main justification for pushing the scrapping of the scheme is as if the dire security situation in Nigeria has come to stay and will never ameliorate. This is the height of pessimism. Even the posting of corps members to their regions does not offer any specific respite against insecurity. Besides and importantly,  the hierarchy of the NYSC has partnered with the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Services (NYSC) and other relevant security agencies on effective modalities for providing effective and efficient security surveillance of the NYSC camps and facilities just as the participants are constantly coached on strategic mechanisms to operate safely and stay out of harm way.

“The calls for the scrapping of the NYSC scheme have been on for some time now. The arguments of the proponents centre on the position that the scheme has outlived its usefulness. The call for the scrapping of the NYSC reached a crescendo at a point, forcing the  Nigerian Government to publicly announce, through the then Minister of Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong, that it would not be swayed by agitations from some quarters to scrap the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

“Before the Lower Chamber kowtows to this scrapping call, let us go back to origins of the NYSC scheme. The NYSC was established in 1973 by the General Yakubu Gowon regime as a response to the disunity faced by the country following the Nigeria-Biafra Civil war. The purpose of the scheme is therefore  primarily to inculcate in Nigerian youths the spirit of selfless service to the community, and to emphasize the spirit of oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians, irrespective of cultural or social background.

“Necessarily, therefore, the benefits  and objectives are to enable Nigerian youths to acquire the spirit of self-reliance by encouraging them to develop skills for self-employment; to contribute to the accelerated growth of the national economy and to develop common ties among the Nigerian youths and promote national unity and integration.

“One must concede that many of these noble values have been eroded, which calls for the repositioning of the scheme and not scraping it. Over one hundred thousand tertiary graduates pour into the labour market yearly, the NYSC scheme helps to temporarily absorp them and give the state and youths some respite.

“Though the Federal Government had stated that it would not scrap the scheme then, without addressing the reasons that prompted and even justified the calls, the agitations against the scheme tend to continue of which the bill before the House of Representatives is an example.

“There is sufficient evidence that the Federal Government is working to revamp the scheme and restore public confidence as seen in the works of Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, the NYSC Director General who has been carrying out comprehensive reforms of the scheme .

“For a fact,  there is no national institution that has united Nigerians more than the NYSC scheme. Nigerian graduates have been compelled to see other states and cultures. This has proved to be a wonderful experience as most Nigerian graduates who have undergone the service year in other states come back with testimonies of how their ill perceptions of other ethnic groups have been positively corrected. Significant number of these graduates have married outside their ethnic groups based on their NYSC exposure and reorientation. No force of national unity can be of greater significance than this.

“Acculturation – coming together and interaction of two or more cultures, their imbibing of each other – is what Nigeria seriously needs to foster unity and development, and that’s precisely what the NYSC stands for and has offered since the ’70s. Those going for the death of the scheme can as well call for the disintegration of the country. For that’s the only condition that would render the NYSC irrelevant.

“The NYSC scheme has been such a brilliant idea that it has been copied by many other countries. One wonders what example Nigeria as a country would be showing such countries by scrapping the scheme the nation sold to them.

“One understands that bill has reached second reading in the  House of Representatives and will be referred to the appropriate  committee for tinkering before it can proceed to the 3rd and final reading, and then passing into law. Between the 2nd and 3rd readings, there ought to be public hearing where the public is permitted to make inputs. Patriotic Nigerians should be on the watch out to help in forcing the National Assembly to regain perspective by shooting down this proposed bill, which will further imperil Nigeria’s unity.

“Obviously,  the NYSC scheme is in an urgent need for reforms. Insecurity is no doubt a major challenge confronting the scheme. But this is a national problem, which scrapping of the NYSC cannot cure. What needs to be done is the receivers of the corps members to undertake to do the needful, beginning with the provision of adequate accommodation in secure environments.  Local Government  ‘Corpers’ lodges have to be built in all LGs with adequate security arrangements.  We understand that the hierarchy of NYSC has made extensive contacts with state governments and has even kickstarted the campaign for setting up the NYSC Youth Trust Fund to revitalise the NYSC. HURIWA believes that this is the best way to go instead of throwing away the baby with the bathwater.

“Still on security,  working with security agencies,  NYSC authorities should not post corps members to redflag states until they are safe enough, unless there are corps members who want to go on voluntarily.

“In a nutshell,  the NYSC scheme is too important for Nigeria’s unity to be thrown aboard by the National Assembly.”

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BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran



Chrisland pupil Whitney

The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.

On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.

The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.

The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.

The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.

Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.

Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.

The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.

Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.

However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.

In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.

The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.

The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015

If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.

On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.

Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.

The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”

The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.

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BREAKING: Abacha’s Ex-chief Of Staff Oladipo Diya Dies




Retired Lt.General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya, the former Chief of Staff in General Sani Abacha’s military government, is dead.

His death was confirmed by Prince Oyesinmilola Diya. He said the former military administrator of Ogun State passed on to glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.

Born on the 3rd of April, 1944, Diya was military Governor of Ogun State after the Buhari-Idiagbon coup of December 31st, 1983.

Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.

He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

While serving in the military, Diya studied law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He held other top military posts like GOC, 82 Division and finally the Chief of General Staff (military Vice President) to Gen Sani Abacha

The statement read: “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to Glory of our dear Husband,Father, Grandfather,brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.

“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.

“Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.”

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Breaking: Appeal Court Retains Adeleke As Osun Governor



BREAKING: Adeleke Freezes Osun Accounts , Reverses Appointments After Swearing In As Governor
Governor Adeleke

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has vacated the tribunal judgement that nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, on Friday held that the appeal Adeleke lodged to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, was meritorious.

Aside from setting aside the judgement of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500, 000 cost against the All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola

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