The Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Alhaji Ahmed Wada Ikaka, has challenged corps members to embrace the unifying spirit of one Nigeria.
The director gave the challenge while addressing the 2022 Batch ‘C’ (Stream II) corps members at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State.
Ikaka opined that his visit was purely to serve a dual purpose of interacting with camp officials and corps members on one hand and to experience the warm hospitality the camp administration had placed at the disposal of the graduate youths in line with the management’s vision on the other hand.
“My dear corps members, I want to let you know that NYSC loves you and is doing her utmost best to make you comfortable and happy. This is one of the reasons why management has deemed it fit and assigned top management staff to visit the camps nationwide to identify with you as you join the biggest family in Africa.
“NYSC remains the melting point of our culture, tradition and education. I want to let you know that things that bind us together outweigh the ones that divide us. We stand for unity, integration, peaceful co-existence and all-round development of all the sectors of the economy. Your mobilisation and subsequent deployment to states other than your own is an attestation that our main objective is premised on the need to raise dedicated and committed Nigerians as this is sacrosanct and non-negotiable in the Nigeria of our dream”.
While highlighting his exploits during his service year, Dr. Ikaka disclosed that NYSC exposure was nostalgic and assured corps members that they had nothing to fear as the scheme had put all machinery in place to make their service year fruitful and memorable.
“The scheme has a template that must be followed conscientiously and if you try as much as possible to tow the established route and show outstanding commitment to the four cardinal programmes of the scheme by participating actively in them, you will remain a beacon of hope that the society will be proud of.
“I want to admonish you to shun acts of greediness like taking or absorbing what does not belong to you, particularly at this time when general elections are around the corner. You should be rather disciplined and remain focused with the understanding that you are an agent of positive change and not instability. Resist all forms of temptations and peer pressure which may definitely alter the course of your progression in life.”
Alhaji Ikaka who did his mandatory one year national service whilst among the pioneer corps members in Akwa Ibom during the 1988/89 service year warned the members of the service corps not to deride the culture of their host communities.
“It is instructive to let you know that no culture is primitive and I am appealing to you to respect the culture of your host communities and ensure that you do not go beyond the bounds set for visitors and non-indigenes so that you can enjoy your stay in those communities. All Nigerians love NYSC, especially the corps members and it would only be proper for you to be guided in your actions and attitude towards the indigenous people.”
He charged the corps members to embrace the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, programme – an intervention established by the noble scheme ten years ago to reduce graduate unemployment.
“Much has been said about SAED but I want to let you know that you need to enhance your academic and professional certificates if you want to be a force to be reckoned with in the society. I am not saying that your hard earned certificates cannot take you far in life but additional skill will make the world stand at your feet. NYSC message is direct, embrace SAED and rule your world,” he said.
In her opening brief to the Special Guest, the State Coordinator, NYSC, Ondo State, Mrs. Victoria Nnenna Ani submitted that the corps members would have a lot to learn from Ilaka.