–          I pledge to Nigeria my country; to be faithful, loyal and honest,

To serve Nigeria with all my strength (or breath?);

To defend her unity; and uphold her honour and glory (so help me God) –

There goes our Nation’s pledge which is to declare our loyalty of service, even if it requires us to die unceremoniously for the country, as the case of the youth corps members that were killed while serving the country in the North during the post-election violence period.

This violence was propelled after the result of the election was announced on the 17th of April after the presidential re-elect- Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a Niger Delta born Christian of the People’s Democratic Party- topped the list and was followed by the Northerners’ candidate- Muhammadu Buhari, a northern muslim of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

After the announcements of the results, there were protests from supporters of the main opposition candidate, Buhari, and these protests led to violent riots and killings in 12 northern states- Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. The “Buhari supporters” took their grievances to the streets of the mentioned towns and cities and started burning tires; burning churches, shops, homes; and even burning youth corps members who were serving the country and promoting unity – which was why the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme was established (in 1973 under decree No. 24) in the first place.

 In Giade, a small town in Bauchi state, on Sunday afternoon (17th April), rioters attacked the youth corps members (who were majorly southerners) in the town. In their bid to escape, according to media reports, they ran to the local police station, but the rioters stormed the place, killed the police officer on duty, burnt down the station, raped two of the female youth corps members and then chopped them to death with machetes, along with five male youth corps members. In all, they killed ten youth corps members in a small town like that, not to mention the 11 other states.

And so corps members were slaughtered like chickens! Not less than 800 (or maybe the figure should be written in words for emphasis’ sake – eight hundred human beings- take note, not chickens) were burnt, maimed or hacked to death by ‘fellow’ humans. There was even the notable story of one Mr. Ikechukwu Ukeoma who was also killed in Bauchi with the record of his last Facebook posting being: “Na wa o! this CPC supporters would have killed me yesterday, no see threat oooo. Even after forcing under aged voters on me they wanted me to give them ballot paper to thumb print. Thank God for the police and am happy I could stand for God and my nation. To all corps members who stood despite these threats esp. in the North bravo! Nigeria! Our change has come” Little did he know that his own end was near.

“What then is the usefulness of this service?” Some people have asked, is it to watch our loved ones die ingloriously? Or to compensate families of these ones with some sum of money that can never erase the hurt? And a long list of many other questions. According to Prof. Olukayode Soremekun, Dean, College of Human Development, Covenant University, Otta, it all boils down to “the fragile nature of the Nigerian polity”.

Some even suggested that NYSC be scrapped, but the President – Goodluck Jonathan- did not see the need for it to be scrapped but promised to review and initiate better policies. “I don’t think it should be scrapped”, says Prof. Soremekun, but he suggests that the states in which youth corps members were killed should be sanctioned and they (future Youth Corps members) should not be posted there for the next two to three years. He also went on to say that the sanction on these states should be publicly announced to show how shameful the situation is.

These our compatriots – the youth corps members- have risen to serve their fatherland but some were killed; others injured while serving. And so for the labours of our past heroes not to be in vain, there is need for urgent review of who a Nigerian is, for these Youth Corps Members are “sacred symbols” of our unity.






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    ewooowoowowowoooooooooo oooo i pledge to Naija my country to be SHARRRRRP with all my strength to run in case of dis unity so help me BROOOS JAY

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      ha! ore!, this is unpatriotic o! i will tell ‘oga Joe 4 u!

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    This is really sad

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    Didn’t kn twas dat bad, Nigeria is getting scary o

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