The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, has warned members participating in the forthcoming general elections against collecting gratification from politicians.
Ahmed gave the warning during a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, corps members do not belong to any political party and are therefore to remain apolitical throughout the exercise.
“What we want to remind the corps members is that they should be careful of whatever environment they find themselves and they should not accept any gift from any politician.
“They must not accept food from anybody; as they go, they should carry at least their service support along with them that is all what they will use on that day.
“Any form of gratification or any form of gift, we don’t expect corps members to accept. All we’re asking them do is go and perform their duty as expected of them and leave,” he said.
The NYSC boss also said that over 200,000 corps members have been deployed for the exercise and would form the bulk of the adhoc staff.
He noted said that the welfare of the corps members had been taken into cognisance and that they would be properly catered for.
“As you are aware, my priority since I assumed duty is the issue of security and welfare.
“The welfare of the corps members as well was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and it promised to take care of it.
“Not only their security but wherever they will be taken to – right from where they will sleep before being taken to their respective places of duty.
“INEC promised to provide the NYSC members with sleeping kits and all that they require,” he said.
The director-general further said that security of the corps members is of utmost importance as the scheme has been speaking with relevant agencies to ensure the safety of participants.
“Part of our discussion with the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services is that their places be taken into consideration in terms of security.
“The provision of security to their lodges and where they are accommodated is also factored in as part of the security of their lives and properties.
“So, we don’t expect them to go beyond the confines of the places,” the NYSC boss said.
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He, however, said that those participating in the exercise are expected to be fully dressed in the NYSC uniforms, while those who would not participate and do not live in the corpers’ lodge are to remain in mufti so that they are not targeted.
Ahmed said that in case of an emergency, the scheme had established a Distress Call Centre at the headquarters with number 6972 for corps members to call for prompt response.
He gave assurance that corps members would not be deployed to flash points that were very volatile and known for violence.
He added that the schemes’ officers too would be deployed to monitor corps members on the field and assist in any way necessary.
On training, the director-general said that the corps members have been trained rigorously by the scheme and INEC on what to do.
”The corps members have been issued guidelines that will guide them in the discharge of their election duties.
”They are well informed and are ever ready to serve the nation in this capacity, we warned that anyone caught engaging in election malpractice will be dealt with according to the law,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold across the country on Feb. 25, while the governorship and State Houses of Assemblies will hold on March 11. (NAN)