Over 2,000 corps members deployed to Anambra State for their one-year national service have restated their commitment to a one and united Nigeria.
They made the declaration during a unity march at the permanent orientation camp in Umuawulu/Mbaukwu in Awka South Local Government Area of the state.
The NYSC members had marched round the camp in their various platoons, baring the unity torch in solidarity to the Nigerian project and that of the scheme.
Some of them who spoke to Orient Daily, described the NYSC Scheme as eye opener to the complexity of the Nigerian nation, appealing to those canvassing for its scrapping to consider its enormous merits against negligible demerits.
A corps member, Mr Kolawale Oladapo, said that the rally was to stage their solidarity for the unity of Nigeria.
He said Nigerians had a lot to lose if the country disintegrated and called on all Nigerians to work towards its sustainability.
Another corps member, Miss Maureen Onwuekwe said that she looked up to serving Nigeria as a corps member, before she gained admission into the university, describing the scheme as a dream come true.
She said that those proposing the scrapping of the NYSC are those who are no longer interested in the unity of Nigeria.
She added that the scheme remains the only opportunity for Nigerian youths to see the other side of the country and learn to live with them.
According to her, it has been a wonderful experience, the principles we are taught here are truly relevant to our becoming better human beings and better Nigerians.
“NYSC is a legacy that should be sustained, it should not be scrapped, because we stand to lose a lot as a divided nation,” she added.
Earlier, State Coordinator, Kehinde Aremu said the march, the first of its kind in the history of the scheme was informed by the prevalent nation’s security situation as well as the ongoing discussion on the scrapping of the scheme.
He said, “The unity march is a physical and practical demonstration of corps members resolve to work today, stay together to fix Nigeria. They’re showing they’re better off together through the instrument of the NYSC, which serves as vehicle to unite the nation’s diverse culture.
“This originated from the corps members themselves through their platforms where they make suggestions which helps us to improve the scheme year after year. As their guardians and activate participants in the Nigerian project, all we do is to support anything that adds value to their aspirations.
“In course of our discussions, none of them have supported the scrapping of the scheme. But rather, they’re unanimously in support of the NYSC project which they insist have continued to serve for national integration and mobilization of the Nigerian youth.
“Especially with the introduction of SAED segment, the corps members view the scheme as veritable platform, not just for engagement but transiting to entrepreneurship.
“If this large number of over 2,000 corps members in Anambra alone and in other states currently undergoing their orientation course are in solidarity of a project that’s directly related to them, then there’s no need to stop them.
“Beyond the unity, entrepreneurship that NYSC brings to the table, I’ve always taken a cursory look at how a typical Nigerian youth joins the scheme. They enter not knowing how to save money, patrotism, volunteerism, being disciplined, including greeting people.
“They come into the NYSC with the mindset of picking money on the streets and that Nigeria should do everything for them. But the Scheme intervention changes their mentality over all of these. You see them leaving service knowing more about this country, culture of other people, more about difference between savings and investments.
“I imagine students leaving the tertiary institutions and being unleashed in that raw form in the Nigerian society, it will be very dysfunctional. Some of the things we don’t see right now will start throwing up if the NYSC intervention is removed.”