An open letter to Buhari
Sir: Your Excellency, greetings from a position of pain and sadness.
I write this open letter to you due to the untold loss of lives, high level of negligence, poor conditions of living and inhuman treatment that our serving youth corps members are usually subjected to in the various “death traps” called NYSC Camps across the nation.
Sir, fresh in my mind is the death of Ifedolapo Oladepo(Kano NYSC Camp) and Ukeme Monay (Zamfara Camp). This is a pointer that all is not well with the scheme, hence, urgent and decisive step must be taken to arrest this ugly trend.
Sir, it is encouraging that you have ordered a probe to ascertain the cause(s) of their deaths but given the nature of the system we operate and my experience so far, I do not have or share in the illusion that anything meaningful will come out of the probe. If at all you want to probe anything, what I think you should probe is the allegation levelled against some NYSC officials and some power drunk soldier recruits for corrupt and unethical practices, high-handedness and I don’t care attitude towards the youth corpers.
There is no doubt that the scheme has been of immense benefits to the Nigerian nation at large as it has afforded us the opportunity to meet, socialise and rub minds with other well-meaning Nigerians across the country thereby helping in building healthy relationships and friendships. It has also inspired some of us to discover our hidden talents. However, I want to bring to your notice that the scheme as it stands today has become a death trap to our youngsters.
Your Excellency, please, consider implementing all of the demands contained in this letter:
1. Housing allowance for all corps members or provision of suitable accommodation for them.
2. Insurance benefits for all corps members of not less than one million naira.
3. Payment of a minimum of N60,000 salary by the government or employers based on the nature of the job.
4. NYSC scheme should be made optional and the demand for the presentation of NYSC certificate before employment should be banned.
5. Replacement of the so-called military punishment called drilling with talent and cultural displays.
6. Provision of adequate security and health cares services.
Please use your good office and see to it that all of these demands above are met. We are tired of sacrificing our lives all in the name of serving our uncaring father land.
Julius Samuel O.