The management of the National Youth Service Corps has refuted what appeared to be clear advice in a handbook issued to youth corps members.
The Security Awareness and Education Handbook for Corps Members and Staff, on page 56, had told corps members travelling on what the organisation categorized as “high-risk” roads to inform their family members, friends and colleagues to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded’ if there they are kidnapped.
The scheme highlighted such “high-risk” roads as “Abuja-Lokoja-Okene, Aba-Port Harcourt or Abuja-Kaduna” roads. The page 56 of the handbook gives reasons for ransom, while page 57 of the handbook contains “Advisory action when kidnapped or taken hostage”
Meanwhile, the Scheme refutes issuing the advice, even when individual corps member has the book, which has also been seen by the CampusNG from a youth corps member presently undergoing the compulsory one-year national youth service in the Batch B Stream 1 unit. You can Apply for Seyi Bickersteth Scholarship Programme.
The NYSC categorically states that the clause quoted is not entrenched in the NYSC Security Tips leaflet, which was purportedly drafted by “a highly respected retired security expert.”
Similarly, page 57 of the security awareness book taught corps members on ways to behave themselves when taken hostage. The section titled, “Advisory Action When Kidnapped or Taken Hostage,” reads, in part, “Do not antagonize your captors, be polite and operate with reasonable regards. Give reasonable corporation to your abductors.”
The advisory further enjoined corps members to, among other tips, establish a personal relationship with their captors as soon as possible when kidnapped. It continues by teaching the corps members to not disclose their places of work, but only their close friends and relatives to enable the kidnappers to make contact with them.
In a rebuttal issued by the management of NYSC, denying the presence of the cited clause in the NYSC Security Tips leaflet, the scheme appealed to the public to always seek clarification with the Scheme in order to avoid falling prey to what it described as “the antics of mischief makers” whom it says are “out to ridicule the Scheme.”
Meanwhile, it is instructive to know that many corps members have been kidnapped in recent months, while travelling to their various states of deployment.
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