NYSC: In Search Of A New Identity

Established on 22nd May, 1973 by the military regime of Yakubu Gowon, the NYSC scheme has since been trailed with controversies and intense debate, that has at times, threatened it's existence. For some, the scheme has outlined it's uses, and it is a sheer waste of both public funds and twelve months. Some others contend that with the recent spate of insecurity in some parts of the country, the scheme puts the lives of many teeming youths in jeopardy. Depending on who youchoose to believe, every sides to the arguement is not without an iota of reason. However, devoid of sentiments, primordial considerations and ethnic positions, the NYSC scheme is one that should be protected and preserved with every ounce of courage that we could muster. The scheme does not require an overhauling. Instead, it demands a cleansing of some sorts, a remaking of it's goal and deployment of measures to enhance it's efficiency. Some people would never had left theirstate of residence if it were not for the programme. Moreover, how do we appreciate other people's culture, language, norms and vaules, if all we know about them is based on hearsays and fictitious notions? At a time when the ties of unity that binds us as a people is losing it's grip, the NYSC scheme stands as one of the outstanding panacea to salvage the situation and avoid the impending discord. It does not require a strech of the imagination to see that the NYSC scheme brings people of diverse background together, promote national integration and enhancesocietal development. Yet, having said all that, it will be the peak of foolhardiness to turn a blind eye to the incessant dangers that corps members are exposed to in some parts of the country. Without mincing words, this tide should be nipped in the bud. Unless the state can guarantee maximum security for corps members, it will be an abberation to deploy them to those regions. Perhaps, it is sacrosanct to state here that the purging required by the NYSC scheme, begins with the cleansing of it's battered image.

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