Dear NYSC: The good, the bad, the ugly

Enoruwa's Environment

Dear NYSC,

How is it going?

I can imagine the stress you will be going through now especially with the new era where we have various streams. It is surely a huge task for you. The camps will remain busy all through the year I imagine. How did we get here actually? In 2007/2008, we had only batch A and B. We were used to ‘Batch’ and not ‘Batch & Streams’.

I hope new variation is not expected in the near future? I commend the adoption of technology in posting. This is a reflection of the desire of the institution to upgrade and deliver quality service. It is highly commendable and for a long time we have not heard of Corp members not been paid the monthly stipends ‘Allawee’.

Let me bring the attention of the director-general, the minister of interior, the public and the government to the ugly state of the camps where these young minds are drilled for at least three weeks. The NYSC camps have become death traps. Although no corp member has been reported dead in the camp.

I know you know what I mean by death trap. Well in case you don’t know, let me try to explain. The camps are dirty, untidy; some don’t even have portable and quality water. The food is near disgusting. Na so we go dey dey for naija???? I had a discussion with some Corp members in the southern part of Nigeria.

The report is that the state of the camps is nothing to be proud of. The popular and most reverend camp, the first camp facility in Nigeria, The Agwu camp in Enugu hill is just one example. A prestigious camp as the Agwu camp should be a sight to behold. But this is not the case.

I was shocked that there is no standard toilet system in the camp, no water supply; the beds are rotten; with bedbugs grazing in and out of the mattresses. This is not fair now. Why do we enslave or punish our children all in the name of national service? This is something we need to look into. A camp should have basic facilities, standard facilities such as treated beddings, good water supply, hygiene environment, healthy food etc.

I don’t see that in the camps anymore. I hear we now have Batch A, stream 1, 2 and Batch B, stream 1,2 and Batch C, streams 1, 2. I hope Batch D, streams 1, 2 don’t emerge soon. I suggest we reconsider this NYSC thing oooooo or at least set some torchlight on the schools graduating them. Do you know that Corp members these days cannot communicate in English? Maybe we should think about setting up a pre-call up English test for the graduates or a reading test.

Honestly, you will just see a polished fine girl in NYSC uniform and seek to engage her; but the moment you hear the English en….na die. The guys….don’t ask me. It’s all like they never went through school. By the way; please remind me. I am not sure if the children of the privileged partake in this exercise anymore.

Is NYSC now only for the poor Nigerian? This troubles me especially when I look at the poor conditions of the service nowadays. The community postings, inhuman treatment of some NYSC officials, camp harsh facilities and lots more. Let’s consider the roads. I was on a bus last week with about 4corp members who were traveling to their state of posting.

Honestly, the road experience was horrible. I am recommending in my ‘church’ mind that these children should henceforth serve in their state of residence or current location. No need traveling Nigerian roads oooooooo. Recall that the Honourable Minister of Works said the roads were not as bad as people sound. So they are bad after all. This hate speech thing must not be mentioned here ooo.

So I must re-emphasize my point. The roads are like death traps. Maybe the FRSC should advise because reports on deaths in the past two weeks only have shown about 2-4 deaths already. Children trying to locate their orientation camp; let’s not even talk about the robberies that occur when such journeys are embarked on.

Let me just suggest two things we can do if Corp members must be posted outside their ‘state of comfort’. One is to send them a flight ticket immediately the posting is assigned. Yes, flight ticket to the city of postings. Alternatively, let’s put a pause to NYSC pending when the roads are good and secure enough. But na wa ooo.

How did the roads get this rugged? My beloved NYSC, you know I admire you. I love you in fact. I recall my experience in Bida, Nigeria. It’s still fresh in my mind. The students, the people, the barrack, the fellowship, the churching, and the food. So my love for you is not questionable. This is the reason I had to express it this way and at a time as this when our nation needs ‘help’.

God bless NYSC and our country Nigeria.

Your Alawee spotter,

Kenneth Enoruwa


PS: If not corruption this great institution should be a very strong tool in the issues of national unity, employment, and nation-building.

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