Political Office Not Replacement for Youth Service, NYSC Replies Adebayo Shittu
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has reacted to the claim by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, that taking political office had compensated for failing to take part in the compulsory one year national service.
The spokesperson of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Adenike Adeyemi, speaking to Tribune said the provisions of the Act were very clear, and there are no exceptions for Mr Shittu who became a lawmaker at the age of 26.
She insisted that the NYSC law gives no preferential treatment to Nigerians other than those exempted by Section 2 of the Act.
She said, “Serving in the National (or state) Assembly is not one of them (conditions for exemption from national service)
“You have read the Act and you can see the circumstances where someone is exempted, you analyse it if he [Shittu] was exempted duly or there is a reason why he should have served. But the Act is very straightforward on the grounds for not coming up to serve.
“If you are a graduate locally trained or foreign trained, as long as you graduate before the age of 30, you are expected to serve. Whether foreign or locally trained, the law is the same. Our youths should be rightly guided that if you were able to complete your studies and as of the date of graduation, you are under 30, you are eligible to serve.
“The NYSC was set up to mobilise all eligible Nigerian youths. The Act does not talk about VIPs or children of VIPs. Anyone who is a Nigerian youth, who has a first degree and under the age of 30 must serve, the issue of VIPs or their children does not apply.
“However, if there is any reason why a corps member needs a concession, the corps member applies and concession is given, for example, for marital reasons and on health grounds.
“Everyone is treated the same and where concessions are to be given, it is treated. So, VIPs or children of VIPs do not come into the Act and we do not look at that.”