The National Service year (popularly referred top as NYSC or Service) for most Nigerian youths is a moment to look forward to for several reasons. And no matter what reason you have, every Nigerian graduate wants to serve their fatherland. On May 2, 2015, all camps in the country opened to accept corps members for the Batch A 2015/2016 service year. As several Nigerian youths made their way to their various orientation camps from all parts of the country, so did Adeyera Olubunmi, an indigene of Lagos state and a graduate of Mass Communication from The Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos state, who was posted to Nasarawa State to perform his mandatory one year National service, without knowing what was lying in store for him.
According to an anonymous colleague in the camp who posted this narrative online, all is not well with Adeyera Olubunmi in the camp. Hear his story:
“To all my fellow NYSC corp members around Nigeria, today, I witnessed how one of my colleagues, Adeyera Olubunmi (State code: NS/15A/0134)(Call-up no.: NYSC/NIJ/2015/061287) almost died due to maltreatment in Nasarawa state NYSC camp by security officials.
“What happened this morning was that Bunmi Adeyera who is also Platoon 4 leader and was obviously sick went to the Camp clinic to collect some drugs to combat his ailment and was approaching the camp market to get food (since food was no longer available in the camp kitchen) in order to use his drugs when he was stopped by security operatives (Nigerian Police force and Man’O War) and was asked to go back into the camp hall for lectures.
“He tried explaining to them that he was sick and needed to take his drugs but they did not listen to him, rather he was told to start ‘frog jumping’.Bunmi quietly explained to them that he might not be able to ‘frog-jump’ because of his health status.
“The next thing I saw was that the security operatives (who were obviously Hausas, because they communicated fluently in Hausa language) told asked him if he was Hausa or Yoruba. When he told them he was Yoruba and he hails from Lagos state, they seized his NYSC identification tag and marched him straight to the ‘Guard room’ allegations of ‘being stubborn’ without giving him any chance of speaking in his own defense.
“This place called Guard room is a bathroom located at the entrance gate of the Nasarawa Camp where soldiers urinate at all time and with no cross-ventilation.”
“We all watched them take the poor sick Corp member to the Guard Room, and was detained there going to three hours. The next thing I saw was people from the camp medical unit running towards the gate with stretcher in their hands.
Behold Bunmi had collapsed and fainted in the so-called guard room. Even while the Red Cross team was trying to rescue the situation, the soldiers sent them back saying that all was pretence and that when he wakes up, he will return to the guard room. The doctors battled for his life for about an hour before Bunmi Adeyera became conscious again and was later stabilized.
“Every Corps member on Camp including NYSC officials know Bunmi to be easy-going, obedient and friend to all which is more reason he emerged the leader of Platoon 4. The population of those who went to the clinic to check on him is one that I have never seen on camp although they wouldn’t allow us take pictures of this ugly incidence.
“But my question is this why is it that we Corp members who have in good faith and humility come to serve our father land are being maltreated even to the extent of someone fainting. This should not continue. All these security agents should be careful in performing their duties and should remember that the pen is powerful than the sword,” he concluded.
Are the security operatives attached to our orientation camps supposed to protect us from terror or become elements of terror themselves to innocent youths?
The State Coordinator of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Nasarawa State, Mrs Christy I. Uba has reacted to the news of the maltreatment of a corp member on the Camp. Her reaction was during the lecture hours in the Multi Purpose hall at the Magaji Dan Yamusa NYSC Camp, Keffi today.
Speaking to the 2015 Batch A Members, Mrs Christy I Uba said,
First and Foremost, it is important for all to abide by rules & regulations. However, this did not warrant the said Man O War officials to manhandle the corp member. Those officials involved did not act on any official instruction and are solely responsible for this. She said she will handle this case as such will not be tolerated on camp – either Recklessness from camp officials or Indiscipline from all. Corp Members must also obey rules and instructions.
The Management will ensure that no one is manhandled. Indeed, some corp members come from homes where they’re aren’t instructed strictly, hence it might be difficult to adjust out of the blues. However, Corpers should please have an open mind to adjust accordingly.
She assured everyone that there will be no tribal differences on camp but maintaned that there must be discipline but this must not in any way be exploited by officials.
She also asked the affected corps member to report to her office at the end of her speech.