Certificate controversy: Reform or disband NYSC, CSO charges FG
HURIWA urges FG to probe NYSC DG
A group, Competent Governance for Accountability and Trust, has charged the Federal Government (FG) to sanitise the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) or disband it to avoid the embarrassment, which, it said, the agency was causing Nigerians.
The group noted that the one-year mandatory national service is a process, and the discharge certificate of anyone, who successfully participated in the scheme, should never be a matter of controversy if necessary reforms, including digital documentation and more transparent authentication processes, are put in place.
The Civil Society Organisation (CSO) made the call in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Omoba Michael and its Deputy Coordinator, Godwin Erheriene, in Abuja, on Sunday, in reaction to the ongoing controversy between the NYSC and the governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, over his discharge certificate.
Recall that NYSC had issued letters stating that it did not issue Mbah’s discharge certificate, while the governor-elect has dragged the agency before a Federal High Court, demanding N20 billion from the agency and its Director of Corps Certification, Ibrahim Muhammad, as general and exemplary damages for alleged conspiracy, deceit and misrepresentation of facts.
The group said: “The controversy over Mbah’s discharge certificate is one of many symptoms of the endemic rot in not only the NYSC, but also our public institutions in general. It could happen to anyone unless the decay in our system is addressed through shakeup and total reform of the NYSC.
“The fact is that an NYSC discharge certificate is not a privilege conferred by the agency; it is the statutory right of anyone, who diligently undergoes the one-year mandatory service.
“Interestingly, the NYSC has not denied that it mobilised Mbah for national service through call-up number 01134613 and reference number NYSC/FRN/2001/800351.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to probe the Director General (DG) of NYSC, Yushau Dogara, over Mbah’s NYSC certificate controversy.
The group, which carpeted Dogara for his stance against Mbah, expressed surprise that he would lead propaganda against the winner of March 18 governorship election in Enugu State.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the DG is suspected to have made a sudden recant, claiming that Mbah was not issued an original certificate by the agency.
The civil rights advocacy group alleged that Dogara might be working for opposition parties, who are dissatisfied that Mbah won the poll against the Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election.
The group wondered why anytime political enemies want to carry out smear campaign against a winning politician or government official, they always use NYSC to achieve their crafty devices.