Home commentary WHY YOU MUST SERVE YOUR COUNTRY: THE NYSC QUESTION By OLIVER...

WHY YOU MUST SERVE YOUR COUNTRY: THE NYSC QUESTION By OLIVER AZI

Most benevolent humans, a cascade of manipulation, and saturators of truth, of a truth, I write not because I have inks ready to be wasted on parchment. Rather, I write to clarify issues on what the implication is, to neglect serving your country, in the compulsory scheme created by the young lad soldier, Yakubu Gowon.

He led Nigeria into the Civil war alongside his khaki wearing comrade, from the southeastern side, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu. He christened it National Youth Service Corp.

That it is compulsory to “serve Nigeria” after you are done with tertiary education. I know you hate it and would not want to do it. I know Nigeria has raped the hope in you, bastardize the faith in you, and might not give you a reason to believe in tomorrow. I understand your frustration, but I write not because of that.

I write to expound the legal provisions of the National Youth Service Scheme, which is but a creation of the law, and must be treated first as such. That is why I write. It is my obligation as an aspirant to the Nigerian bar to do so.

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First off, I would, in all honesty, say that my ink has no time for a long talk. But what I will do is this, I will most succinctly and precisely talk about the recent decision of the Supreme Court with regards to this issue. After all, it is trite law that where the court has made a pronouncement on a particular statute, it becomes more binding.

In FESTUS v A.A.C [2020] 4 NWLR (Pt. 1714)Pg. 284, the court held that: “By Section 2(3) OF THE NYSC Act; it is compulsory for any person liable to be called upon to serve in the National Youth Service Corp Scheme for a continuous period of one year from the date of his call up instrument”.

So, how about those who decided to be rebellious, recalcitrant, and hence become a “black wolf” to the provision of this law? The court further adumbrated that, theirs is the wrath of the law.

It reads further; “A person called up to undertake the compulsory continuous one year service, who fails to report for service, or who refuses to make himself available for service in the service for continuously for one year is, by dint of SECTION 13(1) OF THE ACT, guilty of an offense, and is liable on conviction to a fine of N2,000, or to imprisonment for a term of twelve months, or both such fine, and imprisonment” This is the position of the court.

I beg, and crave your kind indulgence, to follow through, that which has been posited and gain clarity, as to WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I MISS NYSC.

For me, being a legal wanderer, statute sojourner, and court rat. I think that the law is “backward” and must be restructured, re-arranged, and judicially tailored, to fit present realities.

Cause, our story of yesterday can only become better when we study the climax of today and write the dissolution of tomorrow. This is what fiction does, this is what predicting the future is.

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