THE National Youth Service Corps on Monday asked potential corps members to report at their orientation camps location where the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram is waging an insurgency against the Federal Government. The States are Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, Borno, Gombe and Bauchi.
A statement signed by the Director (Corps Mobilisation), Mrs Mary Kolajo, and pasted at the NYSC Headquarters in Abuja, urged whosoever wanted a re-posting to do so while in camp.
The statement adds that the cases will expeditiously be treated by state coordinators.
The NYSC directive came as anxious corps members posted to the volatile states besieged its national headquarters on Monday.
Dozens of the affected corps members were seen trying to gain entry into the complex which was being guarded by armed soldiers.
The corps members conducted themselves peacefully but were unable to get officials to address their concerns as of the time the News Agency of Nigeria got there.
A graduate of the University of Ibadan who gave his name as Dr. Isiaah, said his posting to Yobe State was unacceptable.
According to him, none of his colleagues was averse to serving Nigeria as a corps member but that they were not in a hurry to die “a senseless, needless and avoidable death.”
He said,” I graduated from U.I. I studied Medicine. I, and most of my colleagues you see here today, am here to seek alternative posting to other states because of the security situation in the north.
“Our families made sacrifices to get us where we are today. I, for one, cannot go to Yobe State if the President who is the Commander- In-Chief of the Armed Forces does not feel safe to go there; who am I, an ordinary citizen, to go there?
“The President told the whole nation during the Presidential Media Chat last week that he could not use a helicopter to go to Borno or Yobe states because of security concerns, why do they want to send us there?”
He also argued that since the extremist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which is active in these areas don’t want anything to do with western education “why should Nigeria waste the lives of those who spent the greater part of their lives to acquire it.”
“Those who get posted to schools will become potential targets because they say they don’t want schools, why should we be made the sacrificial lambs? he asked.
Another prospective corps member, Mr. Chiedu Okoye, a graduate of Agric-Economics from the University of Maiduguri, said although he was born and bred in the north, he had had too many close shaves with death to accept his posting to Jos (Plateau State).
He said, “I have spent a greater part of my life in the north but I cannot serve anywhere in the north. Just this January I escaped from Maiduguri with a gunshot wound.
“It was God that saved me from the Jos crisis in 2001 when I was passing through on my way back from the East. Must I die prematurely before somebody takes me seriously?”
Albert Francis who also graduated from University of Ibadan and was posted to Sokoto State said, “I know that Sokoto is free from the crisis but you can not predict what will happen later.”
Speaking with NAN, Femi Adegbite, a fresh gradutated posted to Maiduguri said, “Last year, many youth corps members were killed in these troubled states including Borno and nothing happened. How do you expect me to go to Maiduguri?”
In an interview, the Director of Public Relations of the NYSC, Mrs. Bose Aderibigbe, said the commission was mindful of the corps members concerns but that proper procedures would have to be followed for those who wished to be redeployed.
She said, “Staying at the secretariat gate will not solve this problem. The 2012 batch “B” corps members who have collected their call-up letters from their institutions should immediately proceed to their respective orientation camps for registration and camping.
“Whoever is interested in seeking relocation from the present state of deployment should make a request for relocation while on camp.
“We assure them that all requests will be expeditiously treated by the state coordinators.”
1,050 corps members were posted to Borno State, the same number were posted to Yobe State.
Gombe, Kano and Kaduna states had 2,500 each; Bauchi had 1,500, while 2,300 were posted to Plateau State.
Meanwhile, the Gombe State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Manesah Igyuse, said on Monday in Mallamsidi, headquarters of the Kwami Local Government area that the state government was doing everything possible to ensure that those posted to the state for orientation were protected.
“Troops have been moved into the camp with their armoured tank and are combat ready, so nobody will even attempt to come and attack it. More soldiers and policemen have also been drafted to boost security in the camp,’’ he was quoted as saying by NAN.
NAN reports that the Batch `B’ corps members started arriving in the camp for orientation on Monday.
Igyuse assured them of adequate security, saying that as far as the state was concerned, they had no problem with their safety.