…Traditional rulers, security agents, others involved in push to release others
By Tom Okpe
Director General (DG), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig Gen Yush’au Ahmed said the scheme is intensifying efforts to ensure that the five of the eight Corps members abducted in Zamfara State are released immediately.
Gen Ahmed stated at the House of Representatives yesterday that three of the eight members abducted in August while on their way to the NYSC orientation camp in Sokoto State had been released.
Speaking in Abuja before the House Committee on Youth Development, Gen. Ahmed said the released Corps members had been redeployed to Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and given proper medical attention while security agencies, traditional and religious leaders were synergizing to secure the release of the remaining five.
“We are making efforts to see that we get the children out of captivity. From all the signs we are receiving, we are hopeful that we will get them as soon as possible.
“We have full synergy between the agencies. All these things work together. The only problem is information. Once information is out, we will have a seamless situation,” Ahmed said.
The NYSC DG also noted that traveling at night was against the safety tips given to all serving and prospective corps members, urging strict adherence, to prevent future occurrences.
He said it was not possible for NYSC to provide buses for the movement of Corps members to camp as “it would be subject to budgetary allocation, adding “we will get there as more proactive measures are put in place.”
Ahmed further disclosed that there were plans to increase allowance of Corps members, but NYSC was waiting for the increase in minimum wage by the Federal Government.
The DG, therefore, sought the National Assembly’s support for the NYSC Trust Fund, which will enable the scheme to empower Corps members at the end of their national service.
The House Ad hoc C’ttee Chairman, Martins Esin (PDP, Akwa Ibom) expressed worry over the state of the abducted prospective Corps members, saying that the interface was to enable lawmakers get first-hand information on the situation of the NYSC members in captivity.
Rep. Esin said: “I am happy with the work so far done on the release of those still in captivity, I like the engagement with sister agencies to secure them.
“Based on the interaction we had, I am certain in my spirit that these prospective Corps members will be reunited with their families.
“We are calling on all stakeholders to support the NYSC to ensure security of lives and property of Corps members.
“We shall continue to be on top of the situation, but if we notice any derailment, we will be the first to raise the red flag.”
He urged the NYSC management to proactively, come up with rehabilitation programme to take care of the trauma that the members may have suffered, when released, so that they could be properly reintegrated into the society.
“We will give you legislative backing, to get this scheme forward. This is the best time to do so as we have a President who is a lover of youths, and has demonstrated it, in his appointments,” he said.
The committee directed the NYSC management to visit the families of the victims and brief them on the efforts made so far for their wards’ release.