ORPHANS OF LIVING PARENTS; THE PLIGHT OF CORPS MEMBERS (Part II): The poverty circle introduced at the foundational stage of tomorrow’s leaders

Filed under: National Issues |

If I may ask, why will the peanuts that have been assigned as allowance for corps members become a feud to pay? When the extravagant 160 contingent delegation to Rio Deginero in Brazil recently had no qualms in funds allocation. Corps members no doubt are meant to serve the nation, but service has its own accessories. You don’t ask a clean to clean without a broom nor can you ask a cook to prepare a dish without the utensils, it goes to show that service to nation requires responsibility from Government.

We have heard over and over of unscrupulous comments demanding corps members to be good citizens when they are left to feed the dung of bad citizens who stirs their affairs as administrators. What a pity for a helpless set of youths who have been confined under the auspices of a scheme whose objective has long been forgotten. I dare the NYSC administrators the challenge that for every corps members who is frustrated to the point of prostitution, robbery, corruption and other notable vices, they will pitch an indelible stain on the scheme. So rise up for your children are dying in the hands of their employers which might in some cases include the NYSC.

What else can one ask of in this country other than for the rich and influential to live and allow the poor and fervently abused to live as well. Most times one is tempted to search through the policies of governance, just to justify that what we seek from our government are indeed our rights or has it become obvious that we ask too much from the government? Basic needs have been treated with levity and necessity has been left in the hands of both values and vice oriented minds to decide on their action plan for survival. Who bears the blame for this collapse in our country’s foundation (Corps Members) I may ask; is it the NYSC, the Government or the corps members themselves. I wish to present here discussions that ensued in a gathering of some corps members in Abuja, when they were confronted with what action to take on their unpaid allowance. Consequent upon the corps members’ unpaid arrears, there were series of responses from members on how this matter could be resolved once and for all:

  • Corps member Olusoji opined that our grievances be made known to the concerned authority then, we embark on any form of protest and possibly invite the media in this regard.

  • Corps member Emmanuel asked to know the fate of outgoing corps members, concerning the treatment meted them (Not paid throughout their service period) and it was made clear by the Batch A corps representative that outstanding allowance is still lingering.

  • Corps member Lukeman opted for the pre-informed option i.e. copy all relevant authority before any action is taken in order to have a back up that is official and administrative complaint.

  • Corps member Hannah contorted that writing letters don’t work in the Ministry but would rather prefer a radical action as the only option. To buttress her statement ‘corper’ Happiness chipped in by narrating her encounter with the Permanent Secretary of her PPA, an encounter she said was all of dialogue that yielded no result at the end of the day.

  • Corper Ajanga suggested a time table be drawn to carry out protest plan in order to properly organize our actions for better results since we are dealing with people who do not see us as capable of threatening their seat.

  • To support Ajanga’s opinion, Lukeman stressed the need to write the Human Resource Department and copy other relevant offices to abreast them of our plans before carrying out further action.

At the end of this discuss, it was concluded that the matter be settled by harmonizing all suggestion, which culminated in this; that we copy the following authorities: NYSC State Coordinator, Minister (of concerned ministry), Permanent Secretary, Office of the Accountant /Human Resource and the local Media of our proposed action plan as a way of sending a warning signal.

To cut a long story short, this went as far as fetching query letters to the corps members involved then, the unpaid allowance issue persisted. Over time, my colleagues had no choice other than to wait and pray for God’s intervention while they left their survival in the hands of the wind; what a fatality. We know that corps members barely tried to finish their course of training, so that after graduation they settle for a state of “On Your Own” as most of their source, be it parents or relatives or even philanthropic individuals will tell you to the face that, they have tried. Indeed they are not wrong considering the economic climate of Nigeria. What happens when you accost an average serving corps member with the question; are you certain that Nigeria will be great tomorrow? About 80% of the answer you will get will make you wonder who has fiddled with the psych of our tomorrow’s leader. What you perceive from most of their response is disheartening, take a look at some response:

  • If while am serving nobody considered me, why do you think I will consider anyone when am on seat in a public office tomorrow. Corps member Umoru from Bauchi.

  • Whoever is ready to change this corrupt system should be ready to die young. I am too young to die besides, am just starting life as a corper, see this thing is in our blood. Corps member Uche from Abia.

  • Sola from Ogun; I wish we can repair this country I will be happy. But I don’t think it is possible in our life time.

  • Grace from Delta; our parents have failed us and we are still going to fail our children because I don’t know how to survive in this country without cheating.

  • Bassey from Akwa-Ibom; hope is good when you are in a hopeful country but, Nigeria? My brother, just do whatever will make you get to the next level, that’s all my dear.

  • Aisha from Kano; what is good about Nigeria is that you can do anything bad and go scot free, I like that hahaha.

What else do you think informed all this ideology in the minds of these youths, they are tired of waiting for the chance to anchor the destiny of their country as potential resources of tomorrow. Those presently stirring the economy see these young emerging persons as potential treats to their existence hence the unreserved resolution to frustrate them and make pauper of their foundational stage, least they grow, possessing the capacity to resist their hammer. What they fail to remember is that, not just individuals are affected but, transforms into a breeding ground for national poverty. This poverty if it were just economy I would be happier but, here lies poverty of reasoning and poverty of ideology (school of thought) which had gone a long way in wrecking this nation to what it has become today.