Shuaibu Ibrahim, the director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says all corps members are part of the national defense policy of Nigeria and can be mobilised for war if need be.
The NYSC DG spoke on Channels TV’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ show about the recent calls to scrap the scheme amid security concerns on Wednesday.
Ibrahim stressed that the NYSC is concerned about the security of its corps members.
The DG also argued that the scheme has become more important than ever in the face of the rising calls for secession.
“Corps members are on reserve. They are part of the national defense policy of this country. So, where there is serious war, our corps members are educated, they are knowledgeable and they can be trained,” Ibrahim said.
“Imagine three weeks in the orientation camp and the corps members are molded. You see the drill and so on.
“You see the female corps member playing beagle and playing the military band. If not for the knowledge, I wonder where you are going to mobilise such young Nigerians to train them quickly to put in their best for the country.
“Parents should teach their children the spirit of patriotism so that, wherever you find yourself, you add value. By the time you leave, you have a lot of stories to tell. I was an ex-corps member. Parents should support them.
“The federal government cares for their (corps members’) welfare. But however, security is everyone’s business.”
The NYSC boss added that the insecurity in the country is not enough reason to scrap the scheme as it doesn’t affect the scheme alone.
According to him, 75 percent of corps members are still serving in rural areas across the country.