The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, CESJET, has said the move by the House of Representatives to scrap the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, was evil.
CESJET said the amendment of the 1999 constitution aimed at discontinuing the NYSC scheme is an evil plot against Nigerian youths.
Recall that a bill seeking to scrap the scheme, sponsored by Awaji Abiante, a lawmaker from Rivers State on Wednesday, passed through second reading at the green chamber.
The lawmaker seeks to use the bill to amend section 315 (1)(a) of the 1999 constitution.
Reacting, CESJET said the bill was sponsored by purveyors of conflict and agents of destabilisation who want to earnestly set the country ablaze.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the group, Isaac Ikpa said the relevance of the scheme to contemporary Nigeria can not be overemphasised.
Comrade Ikpa said the scheme has instead evolved over the years in fulfilling its mandate of bridging ethnic and religious divisions and fostering the spirit of Nigerian nationalism.
Describing the move as “anti-youth, anti-people and misplaced”, he added that it is targeted at removing the last institutional framework for national stability and cohesion to satisfy the criminal mindset of a few Nigerians hiding in the National Assembly as lawmakers.
He said, “This is indeed a sad chapter in the book of our dear country in the sense that it has become evident that the purveyors of conflict and the agents of destabilization are at work to earnestly set the country up in flames by muting the idea of scrapping the National Youth Service Scheme.
“The relevance of the NYSC in contemporary Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. That the NYSC has evolved over the years in fulfilling its mandate of bridging ethnic and religious divisions in Nigeria and fostering the spirit of Nigerian nationalism is a statement of fact.
“It is, therefore, worrisome that some vested interest would attempt to push for the scrapping of such as initiative that is well-grounded to address the various ethnic and religious agitations and tensions in the country.
“It is, therefore, the considered view of the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency that the call for the scrapping of the NYSC is not only disjointed, it is also of poor taste and a puerile attempt at plunging the country into a crisis of unimaginable proportion.
“It is also our considered view that the selfish proponents of the Bill seeking for the scrapping of the NYSC failed to realize that hundreds of thousands of young Nigerian graduates look forward to participating in the one-year mandatory service.
“They also failed to realize that the one-year service year provides most youths with the opportunity for self-reliance in preparation for life ahead through the allowances paid to them and the experiences they go through in their service year.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency is therefore alarmed that the Bill seeking for the scrapping of the NYSC has reached second reading in the House of Representatives. This is indicative that patriotism in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs.
“It is also indicative that some people have sold their souls to the devil in return for a plate of porridge hence the inglorious attempt at seeking for the scrapping of such an initiative that is more needed and relevant in the country now in the critical point of our existence where there have been politically motivated calls for separation in various parts of the country.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency states unequivocal terms that the Bill is anti-youth, anti-people, misplaced and targeted at removing the last institutional framework for national stability and national cohesion to satisfy the criminal mindset of a few Nigerians hiding in the National Assembly as lawmakers.
“As a result of the press conference calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to see this attempt as an affront to our sensibilities by a select few that are hell-bent on destabilizing the youthful population in Nigeria, which on its own is a recipe for conflict.
“We strongly believe that the agents seeking to destabilize the country are behind the Bill and call on all Nigerians to mobilize in their large number to stop the Bill as quickly as possible because if there is any crucial moment in history to reinforce the essence of the Scheme, it’s now.”