Good, Bad, Ugly of NYSC in Nigeria

Good, Bad, Ugly of NYSC in Nigeria
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The National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme is a potpourri of the very best, the bad, the ugly, and the unexpected. It is an annual event piloted by a government institution where humans are the principal characters. Philosophers have taught us that man is frail and imperfect, so there are bound to be divergent interests, dimensions, and distinctive characteristics among the youngsters participating in the annual national service and the institutional platform called the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). By and large, the NYSC is a mixed bag of all that can be imagined and the unimaginable.

From its inception fifty years ago, the scheme was set out to fundamentally reshape the thinking and modus operandi of youngsters from different parts of the Nigerian federation about the distinctive peculiarities and characteristics of the diverse communities and ethnicities that constitute Nigeria. The NYSC was born just after the brutal fratricidal war in Nigeria between 1966 and 1970. It was meant to cement the affinities between the different peoples of Nigeria, and the most active agents of integration are the educated youths.

In recent times, a lot of stories have trended about the NYSC, including high-profile allegations that the governor of Enugu state, Mr. Peter Mbah, forged his NYSC discharge certificate, as alleged by the management of the NYSC.

This was one of the litmus tests that nearly tore down the walls of the institution known as NYSC. To date, the NYSC’s management has not briefed Nigerians about the finality of Peter Mbah’s odyssey, which the Enugu state’s young governor won comprehensively in the competent court of law.

Governor Peter Mbah went to the Federal High Court, where the court sided with him lawfully by ruling that the NYSC couldn’t convince the court that the man falsified his NYSC certificate because the court exposed the poor legal strategy of the NYSC by accusing the NYSC of failing to adduce as evidence that certificate, which is the so-called original copy for which the Enugu state governor was accused of forging in ‘Oluwole market’. The court of law ruled that the NYSC was dubious in making that claim. The Court completely overruled NYSC.

The Federal High Court also fined the NYSC N5 million for wrongly accusing Peter Mbah of falsifying his NYSC certificate.

Contrary to expectations, the NYSC never filed an appeal to overturn the victory of Peter Mbah at the Federal High Court. It is not clear if NYSC paid the fine. Questions are being asked about what truly happened that NYSC failed to appeal. Since NYSC failed to appeal, why did the management not apologize to Peter Mbah publicly and correct their error publicly, just as they did on public media channels? Moreover, the NYSC convinced some credible NGOs to believe their side of the story, which was annulled in court.

The full story about Governor Mbah’s alleged certificate scandal, where the court sided with the governor and affirmed his NYSC discharge certificate as genuine, will be told in subsequent paragraphs.

The story from the courtroom is that the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate tendered by Peter Mbah, governor of Enugu, is authentic.

Delivering judgment recently, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, issued an order restraining the NYSC from further refuting the authenticity of the certificate.

Ekwo said evidence presented before the court showed that Mbah properly participated in the one-year program from 2001 to 2003 — after seeking and receiving permission from NYSC to attend the Nigerian Law School.

The judge berated the NYSC for misrepresenting facts in its claim that it did not issue the certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the last governorship election.

Ekwo also awarded N5 million in damages to Mbah against the NYSC.

Specifically, after Mbah was declared the winner of the Enugu gubernatorial election in March, Chijioke Edeoga, candidate of the Labour Party (LP) who came second, filed a petition challenging the win.

In the petition, Mbah was accused of forging his NYSC certificate.

In his defense, the governor said he returned to Nigeria after graduating from the University of East London in 2000 and was admitted into the bar part 1 program of the Nigerian Law School.

He said he was required to wait for the bar part 2 program upon completing the first leg and was told to enroll in the one-year NYSC program instead of wasting time sitting around.

After six months of NYSC, Mbah said he applied and was granted approval to defer the one-year mandatory program to enable him to complete the bar final exam.

He added that he later remobilized to finish the service, which he completed.

However, the NYSC issued a letter signed by Ibrahim Muhammad, the scheme’s director of certifications, saying the corps did not issue Mbah’s certificate.

Consequently, Mbah sued NYSC for what he described as conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts, demanding N20 billion in compensation. NYSC capitulated and never appealed until the period allotted for appeal, which is three months, elapsed.

This means that NYSC admitted lying against Governor Mbah. This is one horrible misdeed of the NYSC. The management should tender a public apology to the people of Nigeria.

In subsequent chapters, we will read about some positive and negative feedback about the different camps of the NYSC, as well as some of the Midas touches and achievements made by serving Corpers of the NYSC who went out of the ordinary to set up businesses with the paltry allowance of N30,000 being paid to Corpers by the Nigerian government.

A while ago, a Corp member identified as Kenny Omomeji shared photos of the car he reportedly bought from his monthly NYSC allowance. According to Kenny, who was pictured posing with the car, he was able to buy an old model Mercedes Benz after saving his N33,000 allowance for six months. He also revealed that the car was his first and it reportedly cost N198,000.

When asked why he did not invest the money in something else, Kenny replied, “Car oppression full my local government nah why me sef get this”.

Then on April 4, 2024, media reports emerged of a young female Corper who recounted the assortment of foodstuffs given to her by her Place of Primary Assignment (PPA).

The clip revealed her acquisition of semolina, sugar, Milo, and milk, among other provisions, from her PPA. She disclosed that such generosity from her PPA was a quarterly tradition, expressing her delight at the thoughtful gesture.

In a reflective account, a young lady showed the generous quarterly tradition upheld by her Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) during her service year with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

She detailed the thoughtful array of foodstuffs she received, which included staple items such as semolina and sugar, alongside cherished beverages like Milo and milk.

She emphasized that this act of kindness was not a one-off occurrence but a recurring expression of support from her PPA, which took place every three months as shared by @aminahoftpb.

Her narrative conveyed a sense of gratitude and excitement, as she cherished the nurturing relationship fostered

Her narrative conveyed a sense of gratitude and excitement, as she cherished the nurturing relationship fostered by her PPA throughout her NYSC journey.

The media compiled some of the reactions below:

Chiamaka Juliet said: “Hmmm. for this NYSC wey I dey do or another one?”

Favour8383 wrote: “My own PPA dey give me headache.”

Ameenat Adebadejo commented: “Osalobua ehhh! Same NYSC wey i dey do?”

Zainab: “My PPA decided to give Ramadan package and guess what they gave us. 1 Spaghetti!! Just one.”

Vanilla_oma: “I have PPA in Abuja oo. Salary 30k accommodation in Asokoro.”

Uche837373: “Where are you serving?”

Evans_: “Na your pops get the company no lie.”

Crystal: “They gave me then, almost every week.”

KvngFrankie: “Can I serve again because I think my PPA was broken or something.”

Adedoyinsola: “I have PPA in Ikeja. Salary is 70k, no accommodation.”

Sheyi Barbie: “Abeg where in Osun state is this PPA make I work myself there as this PPA don reject me abeg.”

Immaculate: “My papa did this every month, but not this much, and every Easter, Christmas, and Ramadan, this much.”

Kafeelah H: “Lmao… una no read caption oo she said she’s joking.”

SirPenky: “It’s called dry ration. If you work in a very okay company, you will be getting it on a monthly or quarterly basis. Some companies treat Corpers and regular staff as equal.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a young lady’s post about the Ramadan gift she received from her PPA garnered significant online attention.

The lady, a member of the NYSC, expressed her delight as she displayed the food items she had been given. Among the items she received were milk, Milo, and sugar, along with other foodstuffs.

Then comes the story that a smart Corper Saved all her allawee for 12 Months, Withdraws Bundles of Cash to Buy Phones for Parents. This cheering news was reported on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at 1:03 PM.

The story said the beautiful corps member who saved all her monthly payments (allawee) has gone viral on social media. The smart lady gathered the money at the end of her service year to surprise her parents, who took great care of her. Social media users have shared their thoughts about the video, with many applauding her thoughtfulness.

Besides, a Nigerian lady identified as @raybeautyempire on TikTok has captured the hearts of many netizens.

The kind daughter, who recently completed her one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, expressed immense gratitude to her parents.

The kind girl used the allowance she saved to purchase two smartphones as gifts for her parents, highlighting their unwavering support and countless prayers.

In her words: “Guys this is my NYSC money, I’m done with my NYSC. I just went to the bank to withdraw a little out of my allowance to get my parents a phone, to say thank you for everything they have done for me. They made this NYSC possible.” Ray took the smartphones to her village, intending to surprise her parents with thoughtful presents. However, she discovered that her mother was not present upon her arrival. Undeterred, she presented her father with his new phone and a bundle of cash as a token of appreciation.

Determined to express her gratitude to her mother, Ray later located her mum and presented her with the second smartphone.

The smartphones and cash gifts symbolized her deep gratitude for their unwavering support and countless prayers throughout her journey.

@joyjay79 said: “How una dey save during NYSC?”

@Oluchukwu said: “Amen to your prayers.”

@Empress said: “Abeg no let my mama see this post.”

@Jsmart said: “NYSC money wey be me like rituals? I no fit save anything, congratulations sweetie.”

@Rozzyberry said: “I nor sure say na for this Same NYSC way me dey soo.”

@SYLVESTER said: “Congratulations dear but Abeg nah d same NYSC money wey I dey collect u take do all these things?”

Read Also: NYSC More Relevant Now Than Ever

@tokzy13 said: “I’m happy to see this. God bless for that cos Nysc money is really hard to save oo. Maybe you have a good PPA that paid you a good salary.”

So NYSC is good but bad things do happen.

  • By Emmanuel Onwubiko; head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and former NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA

 

Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Emmanuel Onwubiko and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”

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