#NigeriaDecides: Group seeks adequate security for NYSC members

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement, YIAGA, is concerned with the current security arrangement for the National Youth Service Corps members that administered the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Our Youth Observatory reports show that most corpers lodge across the country are not properly secured by security agents. This is contrary to the information provided by the Director General of NYSC that NYSC members will be adequately secured during and after the elections.

YIAGA wishes to note that field reports indicate most youth corps members were not provided with security after the conduct of yesterday’s elections. In most cases, the youth corps members were abandoned to make individual transportation arrangements after submitting polling unit results at the collation center.

YIAGA is also displeased with the poor welfare and logistics arrangement for the NYSC members. In most polling units covered by our observers, the youth corps members complained of non-payment of feeding and transportation allowance. This might have exposed the corps members to inducement and compromise by politicians and could have been responsible for reported cases of involvement of corpers in the subversion of the process in states like Delta, Rivers, Nasarawa, Kano and Niger states.

YIAGA wishes to draw the attention of security forces, Independent National Electoral Commission and the general public to the dangers involved in neglecting the call to adequately secure the NYSC members ahead of the formal declaration of results. The consequences of neglecting this call are so grave that we can’t afford as a country to lose more lives due to elections. Lest we forget, 11 youth corps members were gruesomely killed in Bauchi state immediately after the formal declaration of results of the 2011 presidential elections.

To this end, YIAGA reiterates the call for security reinforcement for the all the adhoc staff involved in elections. As a preventive strategy, YIAGA urges NYSC members in volatile areas to refrain from wearing clothings with NYSC inscription or Khaki until few days after the declaration of results. We also call on the security agencies to secure the corps lodges as attacks may be directed to such locations in the event of perceived grievances against the outcome of election results.

YIAGA is saddened with the killing of two adhoc staff in a suspected Boko Haram attack in Gombe State. We commiserate with their families over this fatality. YIAGA earnestly looks forward to an era where national service does not constitute a threat to life.

In conclusion, we commend the youth corps members for exhibiting a high level of professionalism and patriotism in managing the elections. Notwithstanding this commendation, we also condemn the involvement of some youth corps members in the subversion of electoral guidelines.

Signed

Samson Itodo
Head, Research, Policy & Advocacy
YIAGA


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