Governor Kayode Fayemi has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to turn NYSC camps into security training grounds to recruit “willing and able” graduates to join the military and the police.
Mr Fayemi pointed out that one of the cheapest and fastest ways to handle this was to amend the law setting up the National Youth Service Corps.
“With this, we can use the existing orientation camps to train willing and able graduates to reflate the security personnel under a special arrangement that will be worked out. That way, the fund that is currently deployed to the NYSC can be used with just some additional funding, which could be sourced through a national emergency fund for the next five to 10 years,” he explained. “Those who cannot join the military services can serve in their community without pay if we must still retain the NYSC for everyone.”
In June, Shuaibu Ibrahim, the NYSC director-general, had said corps members were on reserve for war, as they are part of Nigeria’s national defence policy and could be mobilised for war.
Mr Fayemi explained that the step was necessary and a cheaper way to get 200,000 security personnel needed by Nigeria to tackle its worsening insecurity.
“By available statistics, we need a minimum of 200,000 personnel to boost the fighting power of our men,” stated the Ekiti governor.
“This number is very large and a potential financial and logistic nightmare,” he added. “Yet, we cannot delay any further. The ungoverned spaces needed to be closed up quickly by motivated men with the singular objective to save the nation; That takes us to the number two issue of financing and arming large recruitment.”
The governor maintained that “there are two things that we need to address quickly” to bring the current wave of insecurity to a halt.
“We need to have a conversation on how we can recruit a large number of people to join the police and the military, even on a short service,” the Ekiti governor stressed.
Last July, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba had expressed a similar thought stating that the NYSC should be a two-year programme to give corps members military training.
Making further suggestions, he reasoned that “to incentivise those who may volunteer to serve, they will have a separate certificate and medal of honour in addition to having priority for military, paramilitary and civil or public service recruitment after service.”
Mr Fayemi stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan while delivering the seventh lecture series to mark the 2021 annual birthday ceremony of Babatunde Oduyoye, the Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Political Affairs.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum chairman said there was no further evidence to prove that Nigerians were all concerned about the security situation “than the fact that security is a major item of discourse in most national gatherings.”
Stressing the precarious situation the country is in, Mr Fayemi emphasised the need for patriotic statesmen and women and “not rumour mongers, ethnic crisis entrepreneurs, provincial men of little minds who see everything from the prism of ethnic and religious conspiracy.”
“There should be an elite consensus on what is the minimum irreducible and acceptable standard of public conduct, but taking due cognisance that peace can only come on the platter of fairness and justice,” he further stressed.
Mr Fayemi urged the leaders to unite in the face of the evil merchants who have no respect for children, old age, women, clergy, or traditional authorities.