Federal Government has overruled the National Youth Service Corps on the redeployment of corps members from troubled states.
Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday. Abdulkadir insisted that corps members would be posted to Borno, Yobe and other troubled states.
His positing supersedes an earlier concession granted to the affected corps members by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-General Nnamdi Okore-Affia.
The DG, had in a statement on July 5 directed corps members posted to Yobe to proceed to Nasarawa State, while those scheduled to have their orientation in Borno were directed to Benue State.
The minister argued that the issue of posting of corps members to states other than their states of origin was enshrined in the relevant laws establishing the scheme.
Abdulkadir said any other form of concessional posting of corps members apart from the grounds of health and marriage would require constitutional amendment.
On the resolution passed by the House of Representatives, he said the position of the ministry remained the position of the law.
The House had in a resolution said the NYSC should halt posting of corps members to troubled states.
The minister said, “Talking about the National Assembly’s resolution vis-a vis our position here. My position is that of the law.
“The fundamental thing is that the NYSC is a constitutional issue; the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is supreme.
“Of course, the NYSC initially was established through a military decree in 1973 because of its potential to the existence of Nigeria as a nation.
“And in pursuance of a deliberate policy to set up something that will always and continue to integrate Nigerians and bring about harmony amongst Nigerians, among other things, the framers of the 1979 Constitution deemed it fit to make the NYSC law part of the constitution.
” So if you are going to make any amendment to the NYSC or alter anything, you have to alter the constitution. That is the position.
“In that regard, posting of corps members to states, apart from their own, except in some special circumstances, is governed by the law and must be adhered to.”
He recalled that many Nigerians died during the civil war.
The minister stated, “Don’t forget that a number of people went to the civil war. A number of Nigerians went to the war front they were killed they left families.
“There are people who up till now who for no fault of theirs because by circumstances they were born during the period of the war they were not armed they got incapacitated. They have disabilities and they are living with those disabilities because of the war. This is a sacrifice to the nation.”
He criticised the protest by some corps members in Abuja, saying at the time of the protest the protesters, who wore NYSC uniform, had not registered.
Abdulkadir said, “How did they even get uniforms to wear? If they are really mobilised to go and serve where did they get the corpers’ uniform to come and assemble before the office of the NYSC to say they are protesting that they want to go or will not go.”
BY JOHN ALECHENU