Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who will be voting in the elections of 2023 have been promised safety and an increase in allowance by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The NYSC administration had previously demanded a reassessment of the benefits provided to corps members during elections.
However, Brig-General Yushau Ahmed, the NYSC’s recently appointed director-general, acknowledged the increase in the corps members’ allowance before the election.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu observed that the Commission cannot conduct elections without NYSC’s assistance while welcoming the organization’s management on Thursday in Abuja at the INEC headquarters.
He claimed that the inability of the Commission to conduct elections without the NYSC is simply unfathomable.
“The first thing that is dear to the commission and NYSC is the comfort, safety, and security of the corps members.
“And in this, there are three different strands of the comfort, safety, and security of corps members.”
“The first one is when we deploy them for election. We deployed them first on a Friday to what we call the super racks where they stay overnight before they’re deployed the following day to the polling units.”
“Over the years we’ve been working efficiently to make sure their stay overnight is more comfortable and we’ll continue to do whatever we can to make this comfortable so that the following day we deploy them to the polling units.
Regarding security, he stated that the Commission has been collaborating with security authorities throughout the years to offer security protection to the youth corps participants.
Additionally, he guaranteed that both the deployment and the actual elections would be secure.
Sadly, he recalled that in the past, when the Youth Corps members were deployed for elections, the camps were stormed by hoodlums. “So what we have done collaborating with the security agencies is to guarantee that we offer security cover to the NYSC,” he said.
He said the same arrangement would be made for them to bring them back safely, stressing that another ongoing concern is what will happen to the youth corps after the election.
He mentioned that the Transport Workers’ leaders had a meeting with the Elections Commission to discuss logistics and that they had decided on their safety and comfort.
“So I want to assure you, that will ensure that those corps members are not abandoned after the election.
“They’re also brought along with the materials for the election.”
The director general of NYSC guaranteed that all terms and conditions with the Commission are fully operational on his behalf.
He claimed that as a result, the NYSC has been educating corps members about the significance of voting in this election.
“You know, there are a lot of fears. That this or that will happen, but we try to make it clear to them that it is a duty and a responsibility for them to actually do their best and take responsibility.”
“Tomorrow they will stand to be proud that they are part and parcel of the growth and the development of democracy in this country.”
“I want to thank the chairman also for at least agreeing to improve the welfare of these corps members and their staff because that will go a long way in motivating them.”
He stated that NYSC is working round-the-clock, day or night, with the security authorities to discuss the significance of the corps members’ protection.
“This talk with the security is actually giving them more confidence that they will actually participate in this election on our part, we will continue to also sensitize them.”
However, he expressed concerns about Kano and Enugu. He also mentioned that Corps members on camp are also trained as ad-hoc staff.
“I think there’s a problem in Kano and Enugu I hope maybe something will be done to ensure that this training is taking place,” he added.