Exactly one month to the general elections, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has assured Nigerians that no corps member’s life will be lost to post-election violence, as was the case in some parts of the North following the announcement of the results of the 2011 presidential polls.
To that effect, the organisation said it had commenced sensitisation programme for community leaders in some areas that were prone to violence, to educate them that corps members were neither politicians nor members of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Director-General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawunmi, made this known in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, after declaring open the 9th edition of the War Against Poverty, a training programme of the Federal Government for corps members.
“I am sure, Insha Allah, that at the end of the 2015 elections, we will not lose a single corps member”, he stressed.
About 400 corps members are currently benefiting from the training, which was jointly organised by the NYSC and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, headed by Dr. Precious Gbeneol.
According to the NYSC DG, “You all know it that corps members have become part of the electoral process in Nigeria and one thing that is certain is that since corps members have started taking part in elections in Nigeria, you will all accept and agree with me that our elections have continued to get credibility more than it used to be before we started participating.
“On what we are doing as far as their safety and security are concerned, we have put a lot of measures in place. Some will be done before the election, some on Election Day and some immediately after the election. This principally involves training, sensitisation, collaborating with all the relevant agencies in terms of security for corps members on the day of the election.
“We have even gone beyond that. We are already discussing with community leaders, engaging them and letting them realise that these are their children who are just serving the country and are not INEC members of staff; they are just serving their country.”
“We are also letting them understand that that as they have corps members in their own communities, their own children are also in other communities doing that. So, I’m sure at the end of the 2015 elections, we will not lose a single corps member”.