Following the ultimatum issued by the ECOWAS member states to Niger Republic junta to restore Mohamed Bazoum as president or face military action led by Nigeria under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, an old video of Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim saying corps members are part of the national defence policy of the country has resurfaced on the internet.
Ibrahim who made the comment on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme in June 2021, noted that serving NYSC members can be mobilised for war if need be.
The NYSC boss was reacting to moves to scrap the scheme, which is compulsory for all Nigerians who graduate before the age of 30.
He said; “Corps members are on reserve. They are part of the national defence policy of this country. So, where there is serious war, our corps members are educated, they are knowledgeable and they can be trained. You see the drill and so on.
“You can imagine within the short three weeks in the orientation camps, the corps members are moulded. They are like soldiers. You see female corps members blowing the army horn, playing with the military band.
“So, if not for the knowledge, where are you going to mobilise such young Nigerians to train them quickly to put in their best for the country? So, corps members are on reserve. They are also part of the national defence policy.”
Ibrahim argued that the NYSC had become more important than ever in the face of the rising calls for secession. The NYSC boss maintained that the insecurity in the country was not enough reason to scrap the scheme.