National Youths
Service Corps, NYSC,
says it would strengthen
ties with the Independent
National Electoral
Commission, INEC, and
security agencies to protect
the lives of corps members
on national assignments.
Brig-Gen. Johnson
Olawumi, the Director
General of NYSC, made
this known to newsmen in
Illah, Ohimili North local
government area of Delta
when he paid a condolence
visit to late Chukwudumabi
Okonta’s family.
The corps member was
killed in Rivers during the
recent re-run elections on
March 19 for the National
and State Assemblies.
“What needs to be done
is to block all loopholes,
straighten ties with INEC,
intensify collaboration with
security agencies and take
advantage of technology
to drive what we do to
guarantee security.
“At any point in time,
Nigerians must take part
in the election duties, so
our concern should be to
protect the lives of every
Nigerian, irrespective of
whether or not he or she
is a Corps member,” he
declared.
He said that most people
have raised issues and
questioned why Corps
members should continue
to take part in elections in
the country.
“When this incident
happened, I have heard
many people saying that
maybe we should not
commit Corps members
into electoral duties.
“But let me give you
a little background, in
2011 we lost some Corps
members.
“I came in January 2014
and in that year we had
elections in Anambra, Edo,
Ekiti and later we had in
Osun and in each of this
elections, we committed
over 6,000 Corps members.
“In the general elections
of 2015, we committed
about 134,000 Corps
members, even early this
year; we had elections
in Bayelsa, where we
committed 2,600 Corps
members.
“And in River State
election that led to the
unfortunate death of this
my Corps member, we
committed about 6,800
Corps members and in all
this, we are unfortunate to
have this case of Dumebi,”
Olawumi said.
He said that the death
of one Corps member
participating in the electoral
duties was not sufficient to
stop Corps members from
taking part in an election
process. On the contrary, the
director-general said
allowing the corps members
to participate in an election
process was to give them
opportunity to understand
what elections were in the
country.
He said that the financial
support given to them
by INEC meant a lot to
most Corps members,
particularly those from
not too comfortable
background.
“If Corps members do not
take part in the elections,
Nigerians will feel the gap.
So if anything happens to
them it is not because they
are not corps members.
“In Abuja election was
postponed because we
could not muster enough
Corps members but what
we usually say is that if you
are not convinced, don’t
take part.
(NAN


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