There are lots of scandals that would be revealed as elections draw near. The emerging cases of one-year-service or not is just one of the subtle acts. We should not be surprised. Should we?
The issue of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has generated endless reactions and social media waves. Do you still remember Madam Kemi Adeosun, ex-finance minister? If not, it is understandable – there are myriads of Nigerian problems which dangerously prevent us from concentrating on any for a long time. What about the young man who showed us what it meant to be baddest as his thrilling presence caused the law to lose its supremacy. Mind you, it did not start with Kemigate or Davido and didn’t end there as well; we seem to be in the era of NYSC and certificate scandal. Thanks to the rising political tension ahead of election; Adebayo Shittu now has a case. However, the popularity and increased attention this time around seems to be caused by the ‘who’ involved. Students of News Writing 101 would recall that when dog bites a man, it is no news; when a man bites a dog, it is news; and when a prominent man is bitten by a dog, it is news. Yet, there are many culprits.
Let’s start by examining the truthful role of the scheme especially in the face of our multi-ethnic diversities. Between 1973 and 2018, hasn’t post-modernism helped us realize that some things need to change? It may be argued by some that NYSC is a waste of time, should they be asked to state why. Among them are people who would have loved to be somewhere else after graduation but could not; only the few who could have their way with the law did so. The ones confident enough to say damn you to embrace an open opportunity to live and study abroad did so. The ones in this last category do not even now think they want to return to the land of their birth. Recent issues have taught some that there is no good milk to suck at the chest of motherland.
On the other hand, most are likely to argue otherwise. Experience is an open field; we all do not place values on the same things. I know one or two persons who have been saved from unemployment due to the skill acquired during service. Meanwhile, though we may not face it, one of the objectives of this scheme is fast dissipating. It may not be absolute for all but many have before, been to these states where we they were posted to. Many have even within the four walls of higher institutions, met people of various ethnic backgrounds from across the country. These may not be enough reasons but the youth service scheme with its provisions that answers to the powerful negates the realities of life and should either be scrapped or made optional before the ones who should return home all get pushed back. Did anyone think Adeosun is the loser here? She should by now, be enjoying the best moment of her life and probably be busy with many progressive opportunities. And what is it about calling for due prosecution? Let the system persecute itself first for clearly allowing David Adeleke flout the rules.
It is rather surprising that David Adeleke could have his way with the law that establishes the service scheme. But what? There are a number of youths who did not serve in person. They were to be in A but they were running their business in C and so; someone stands in for them based on arrangement and get a larger part of their allawee at the end of the month. Let he who is blameless first stone Davido.
This time someone was bold enough to make his contribution to bad leadership and followership public. Let the young man follow his trade. Let no law made by man hinder his pursuit. But then, Davido has revealed enough faults in the system. A system which broke its laws for a few should rather leave the door ajar for all who have serious businesses to mind elsewhere? While, it may seem Davido had his way because of who he is but are there no other uncountable scandals unrevealed which even the ones who ought to guard the rules of the scheme have helped to break at a price below or above #19,800. Let us stop pretending that we are law-abiding citizens. If Davido could enter the camp with a car and muscled men, leave the camp for a tour; no one should lose a job, should shelve his or her business enterprise because of a nonsensical one-year-service which only awards a certificate that is no guarantee for employment.
This is article is not in any way propagating for disrespect for the rule of law in case it still exists. It is a call to examine a scheme that has emboldened a lot of unlawful acts which if investigated, would reveal not only bad leadership but also bad followership. Enough of this scapegoat affair! The scheme should be scrapped or adjusted.