Little doubt, the participation of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in general elections since 2011 add some degree of credibility to the process. Their position in elections has turn out to be virtually synonymous with the electoral process for the simple reason that they’re enlightened and trainable to deal with election materials in all 774 local government areas of the nation. However, with the present safety challenges (some parts of northern Nigeria at the moment are killing fields for insurgents), there have been calls on Impartial Electoral Commission (INEC) to not deploy corps member ad-hoc personnel to unstable areas for the elections with out correct association for his or her safety.
At least, 10 corps members have been killed within the violence that followed the April 16, 2011 presidential elections in Bauchi State. An unspecified variety of female corps members were also raped, molested and assaulted by irate youths. The police disclosed that the corps members helping INEC to conduct the elections in the state had been killed at different areas, together with Giade, Itas/Gadau, Katagun and Alkaleri local government areas.
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President Goodluck Jonathan offered N5 million to the households of the corps members who lost their lives serving their nation. He also promised that the Federal Government would give jobs to other affected corps instantly after their service year. Then, former Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Maharazu Tsiga, had the incidents as the ‘worst moment‘ in his whole life.
A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), had dragged the Federal Government to the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja, alleging that “the failure of the defendants to exercise due diligence to forestall the publish election violence that resulted within the illegal killing of the NYSC members and others amounted to violation of their proper to life; to sanctity and integrity of human particular person; to equal safety of the legislation; and violations of the households‘ proper to household life, and fundamental enjoyment of financial and social life.”
The organisation also disclosed that the N5m compensation to every of the households of the late Corps members was grossly insufficient and fell in need of the requirement by the International Human Rights Legislation.
With the 2015 elections slated for February, The Guardian sought the views of a cross part of serving corps members on their willingness to take part as electoral officers, and found that the safety state of affairs within the nation is a supply of hysteria amongst them.
Mary Ujah, a graduate of the College of Lagos, urged politicians to sensitize their supporters in opposition to attacking corps members. “At any time when they go to their numerous wards, constituencies and senatorial districts, they need to think about it crucial to teach their supporters on the have to be peaceable all through the election. This may go a good distance in making certain that we have now a violence-free election in 2015. She, nonetheless, mentioned she is able to take part within the election as an advert-hoc employees if given the possibility.
In line with Miss Ameh Grace, a Batch A corps member, contemplating the significance of the 2015 elections and the desperation of contending forces and pursuits to win at all costs, it is absolutely essential to place ample safety in place, particularly in unstable parts of the nation.
With the killing of innocent corps members in some northern states in the 2011 elections, I doubt if any would want to expose himself or herself to the chance concerned,” he stated.
On his part, Suleiman Aminu harped on the necessity to put satisfactory safety measures in place and prevent, include or management factors that trigger disorder and violence throughout elections.
However the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), whereas reacting to the issues expressed in a number of quarters, disclosed that the Scheme and the INEC have concluded preparations to deploy corps members as electoral officers throughout the nation for the 2015 general elections.
Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawumi, who confirmed that an agreement had been reached with INEC, said they’d be deployed for election duties across the country in the course of the 2015 election. Giving assurances that adequate measures have been put in place to guard lives of the corps, he mentioned the scheme had learnt from the errors of 2011.
According to him, it’s the decision of the Federal Government to deploy corps members for the exercise, saying the settlement with the INEC on the matter still stands.
The agreement between NYSC and INEC continues to be there; and what that means is that corps members will participate in 2015 elections all over Nigeria whenever election will likely be held. “So long as there shall be election, they are going to be a part of it. Nonetheless, I have to state clearly that we aren’t sleeping; we’re studying from our previous errors. We have now studied what happened within the final election and we’ve got put measures in place for the security and safety of corps members.”
You may all recall what happened in Ekiti and Osun (two elections that were adjudged to be very fair) the place corps members have been significantly singled out and counseled for the position they performed within the elections. For this (2015) election, they’re eager to go, however, on our part, we have put a variety of measures in place to ensure their security and safety.
Under this arrangement, corps members, who would be deployed for the elections, will likely be barred from giving out sensitive electoral materials or receiving monetary inducements from politicians. Those that are caught in electoral malpractice would be prosecuted.”
Friends, we have all heard from the Director general and his counterpart on security assurance as regards Corps members taking part in the 2015 General election. Now over to you out there! What do you think about this and what measure can enhance the security of these youth so as not to fall in the hands of some politicians.
NYSC Insists On Deploying Corp Members to Northeast for 2015 election is brought to you by NYSC Online