From Okwe Obi, Abuja

Human Rights  Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has flayed agitations for the suspension of the National Youth Service  Corps (NYSC), as a result of heightened insecurity.

HURIWA, rather advocated for enhanced security measures and increased funding, to stem the tide.

Its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, during a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, highlighted the importance of the scheme, like national integration,  fostering of unity, and empowerment of youths over its five-decade history.

According to him, the suspension of NYSC would undermine the foundational principles and deprive the nation of a vital institution and national integration.

Onwubiko affirmed HURIWA’s unwavering  support for the NYSC and called on the government to address insecurity, create a conducive environment for the NYSC to thrive, and preserve its legacy.

He  argued that those calling for the cancellation of the scheme did not pass through it,  and encouraged the government to investigate the allegation.

“The core mandate of the NYSC, which is linked with national  development, was stressed as a unifying force that instills discipline, patriotism, and a sense of responsibility in the youths.

“HURIWA acknowledged the prevailing security challenges in the country but emphasised that the NYSC is a victim, not the root cause.

“The association called on the government to implement comprehensive security measures that safeguard all citizens, including the NYSC members.

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“The  urgent need for enhanced funding was reiterated, with HURIWA calling on President Bola Tinubu to expedite the passage of the NYSC Youth Trust Fund.

“The proposed fund, derived from one percent of companies’ profits, aims to scale up the Skills Acquisition and  Entrepreneurship Department of the Corps, dedicated to training corps members for self-reliance after the national service.

“Additionally, the critical shortfall  of teachers in the country, as per the 2018 National Personnel Audit report, was highlighted.

“Insecurity is not caused by the NYSC, and the NYSC is not a security agent that is expected to protect all citizens,” he said.

Reacting to the above, the NYSC advised corps members not to travel after 6.00pm.

“This is to avoid encountering bandits and kidnappers. No responsible nation should shoot down its institutions because of insurgency  or banditry, but should work towards addressing the issue.

“Those calling for the disbandment of the scheme are either people who absconded from the scheme or people who are working for the downfall of the present administration.

“Those who are calling for the suspension of the scheme should tell Nigerians what he intends to do with over 380,000 youths that pass through the scheme every year.

“We should concern ourselves with how we can intensify skill acquisition to make them self-reliant,” it said.