The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has reprimanded the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over the controversy generated by its handbook which advised corps members to pay ransom if abducted.
Many Nigerians on social media had criticised the federal government agency over the contents of its handbook christened: “Security Awareness and Education Handbook for Corps Members and Staff” which advised corps members and staff to get someone to pay ransom in case they are victims of abduction.
NYSC through its spokesperson, Adenike Adeyemi after first denying the existence of the document later admitted that some copies were in circulation and promised that the agency was investigating the situation.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a statement titled: “The NYSC Handbook Scandal” accused the government agency of “initial dishonesty and a rather pathetic attempt at cover-up.”
Owoaje who described as scandalous and embarrassing the missteps of the NYSC, condemned “both the administrative ineptitude that led to the crafting of the offending section in an official document, and the subsequent clumsy attempts to mischievously repudiate the Handbook, copies of which were already in wide circulation and had been distributed to corps members.”
According to him it is shocking that a federal agency would acknowledge the existence of criminal elements in the business of abducting citizens, and would go ahead to urge cooperation with such criminals.
He said the NYSC action is an abdication of its own responsibility to protect citizens simply answering a national call for service.
Owoaje declared that the NYSC must get to the root of the scandal, stressing that Nigerians would not accept any window dressing exercise.
The statement read in part: “The leadership of the NYSC must get to the bottom of this embarrassment and carry out the probe announced by Adeyemi with dispatch. The result of the probe must be made public and officials responsible for these outrageous acts of incompetence and irresponsibility, identified and sanctioned. The moral and legal authority of the NYSC, to demand the patriotic service of our young citizens, is on trial here.
“Nigerians will no longer be satisfied with perfunctory window dressing exercises in the names of probes with their predictable non-contributing impact to any tangible improvement in governance process
“Furthermore, the NYSC leadership and the government must urgently review the wisdom in continuing to deploy vulnerable youths to high-risk areas until the entire nation can be reassured of the government’s ability to guarantee the safety of those deployed for national service. A call to national service should not be answered with trepidation. It should serve its patriotic, unifying purpose, and not become a nightmarish experience for our young graduates and their families.”