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NYSC refutes closure of Benue Orientation camp

PRESS STATEMENT:REFUTAL OF DIRECTIVE TO CLOSE NYSC CAMP IN BENUE STATEThe attention of the Management of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been drawn to a false statement from a faceless group, and a malicious letter to the Director General NYSC, signed by Tyonor Smith on behalf of the National Union of Benue State Students, which have gone viral on some social media platforms, alleging that the Director General NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu has shut down NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Wannune, Tarka L.G.A., Benue state, and that Corps members will not be deployed to the state until a mosque is constructed in the Camp.2. Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered to refute this balatant lie, considering the fact that NYSC as a reputable organization has earned the trust of Nigerians, owing to its monumental contributions to the unity, integration and all round development of the nation, since its creation on 22nd May, 1973.3. Secondly, the antecedents of Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim before his recent appointment as the Director General of NYSC, has clearly shown that he is one of the very few Nigerian leaders who do not possess any iota of religious bias in their public and private lives. For instance, when he served as the Comman- dant, Command Secondary School, Suleja, Niger state, he provided pieces of land for the construction of places of worship to Catholic, Protestant and Muslims students. He further visited the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekon and Bishop of Minna where he advocated for support towards building a chapel for the Catholic students.4. Having said that however, it is expedient to let the reader know what actually transpired the last time the Director General NYSC visited NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Wannune, Tarka L.G.A., Benue state, for purpose of clarification.i. The Director General arrived the Camp ground 6:40 pm on Saturday, 29th June, 2019.ii. He commenced inspection of camp facilities from the Clinic and proceeded to hostels of Corps members.iii. In between the Clinic and the hostels, he met three groups of Corps members observing religious rites. The first was National Association of Catholic Corps members, (NACC), who were led by a Priest in a worship, seated on benches in an open space. He expressed displeasure. Some meters from the scene, he sighted Muslim Corps members’ Association of Nigeria (MCAN) also praying in an uncompleted wooden tent, with no barrier between male and female worshippers. He observed that it was not proper. Few meters again, he came across Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellow- ship (NCCF), worshipping in a tent made up of iron and tampolene, and observed that a strong wind can destroy the structure and possibly cause havoc to Corps members.iv. The Director General commended Benue state Government for providing NYSC with one of the best Orientation Camps in the country. He however observed that there is need for permanent worship centres for Corps members, just as there are permanent locations and structures for every other camp activity; especially bearing in mind the vital roles the religious bodies play in shaping the moral character of Corps members.v. It was on this ground that the Director General instructed the NYSC Benue State Coordinator, Mr. Shicha Simon to allocate spaces to the three religious bodies recognized in NYSC Camp, and as well spearhead advocacies to religious bodies and wellwishers to erect befitting worship centres for Corps members in the Camp.5. While NYSC management under the stewardship of Brig. Gen. Ibrahim is making effort to repostion the Scheme according to present realities, and in line with the dictates of the NYSC Act for the common good of the country, it is appealing for the continued unflinching support of Nigerians.SignedManagement

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