Varsities’ errors knock out UI, UNN graduates from NYSC orientation

Varsities’ errors knock out UI, UNN graduates from NYSC orientation

GRACE EDEMA writes about the inability of graduates of the University of Ibadan, and the University of Nigeria Nsukka to register and participate in the ongoing National Youth Service Corps orientation and swearing-in ceremony, which took place on Tuesday

Mrs. Bola Oluyimika’s daughter, Ana, who is a graduate of the University of Ibadan left Ojota Park, Lagos State for Kabba in Kogi State on November 2, 2022, to participate in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps.

Unfortunately, as of now, she has not been able to register at the Kogi State Orientation Camp located in Kabba nor could she participate in the swearing-in ceremony which took place on Tuesday.

Investigations revealed that NYSC officials had for some years appealed to the over 300 institutions in Nigeria to ensure the arrangement of their Prospective Corps Members’ data, including date of graduation tallies with the NYSC’s certificate style of date alignment.

For instance, the NYSC wants the date of graduation on a certificate to show the day, month, and year, but a graduate of UI told our correspondent that the date on their Statement of Results only had the month and year of graduation.

However, the University of Ibadan,  the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and  Benson Idahosa University, where the three institutions whose graduates were not allowed to register at the various NYSC Camps across the country.

In view of this, many of the graduates wished to be addressed by their first names because of the fear of victimization.

Last week Thursday, Abiodun, another graduand of the University of Ibadan was in high hopes when he left Ogun State to observe the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps in Delta State.

He imagined himself in the NYSC kit also called ‘ajuwire’,  marching and participating in the paramilitary exercises in his platoon.

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Being a sporty young man, Abiodun planned to ensure he was among the corps members who would march at the swearing-in ceremony in Delta State Orientation Camp.

His journey to the Delta State Camp was hitch-free, but his dilemma started immediately he got to the registration unit at the NYSC orientation camp.

At the registration unit, he was told that due to the wrong arrangement of the date of graduation on the University of Ibadan’s certificate, he would not be allowed to participate in the compulsory two-week orientation.

More demoralizing was the fact that he could not also participate in the swearing-in of the 2022 Batch C stream I.

He said, ‘‘I was hoping to have the best camp experience. I have heard so much from my predecessors. So far, expectations have been decimated. I can’t even mingle with fellow PCMs (now Corp members) as I want to.

Abiodun said, ‘‘I realized the error in the date when I got to camp. Initially, I thought I was the only one until I met about four other colleagues from UI with the same issue.

‘‘Apparently, students from UNN have the same problem. None of them has been registered till this moment. To be honest, it has not been easy. Some have it worse.

‘‘Others had their swearing-in today, we had to stay away. Some folks feel a bit stigmatized already. The annoying part of this whole issue is that this isn’t the first time it is happening.

‘‘A colleague of mine confirmed that they had a similar issue last year. People left important things in their lives to serve their fatherland, yet we are being deprived of that opportunity.’’

Abiodun also mentioned that some of her colleagues were harassed by the soldiers at the camp.

‘‘I have some colleagues that are been harassed by some soldiers on Sunday night. It has been difficult feeding as well as we don’t have the meal tickets.

We haven’t done any registration till this moment asides from hostel registration.

‘‘Some PCMs in other states weren’t allowed to stay in their hostels. So, I can say this is the worst situation.

‘‘We were banking on camp food due to limited cash.

As it stands now, I’m ashamed to return to the kitchen to get food. We are so conspicuous because all others are white. We are not.’’

Similarly, another PCM from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Chioma, who traveled to Kaduna State has been stranded in the camp without being allowed to participate in the activities at the orientation camp.

Also narrating her experience to our correspondent, she said, ‘‘The point is the NYSC official said the date is not correctly printed on our statement of results and they have been warning our school to rectify all data appropriately.

‘‘So that is why they have decided not to register us and they also instructed all state camp coordinators to send all UNN graduates out of camps.

‘‘I felt disappointed because I traveled all the way from Ibadan down here and it took me over 18  hours.

‘‘They registered some people here with the same issue but said they won’t register UI and UNN.

“We don’t deserve it, the problem is that we got no prior notification.’’

On her part, Oluyimika told our correspondent that NYSC was rejecting her daughter’s statement of results due to the wrong date arrangement, saying it did not tally with the NYSC directive.

She added that her daughter had left the camp on Tuesday.

‘‘From what my daughter told me, this is affecting all UI students, as they have not been registered. She went into mufti and has been in mufti till now. She couldn’t do anything at the camp and they were told on Monday afternoon that they have to leave the camp immediately.

‘‘The feelers I got is that NYSC has been warning UI about this issue for the past three years. Previous stream corps members attested to having these same issues but eventually got registered; implying NYSC has been showing compassion. UI on the other hand refused to comply with directives hence the total showdown of today. I think UI is very irresponsible, lacks compassion, and is a very rigid institution.

‘‘What nonsense tradition are they keeping to at the detriment of their students? Imagine those children traveling up and down during these trying times and insecurity. I can never recommend the school even for my enemy.’’

By Olumide Sekunowo

Content Author for @study4naija

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