Thursday, 28 May 2015
NYSC: Angry NOUN students threaten nationwide protests
The crisis rocking National Open University on Nigeria (NOUN) will soon escalate if something urgent is not done to convince the students of their participation in the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme and getting admitted into the Nigerian Law School.
Students of the school and the management have been at loggerheads over their inability to serve or go to law school, a development which has now led to plans by the students to organise a nationwide protest.
Speaking with our correspondent, President, Congress of Noun Students, Abdulrazaq O Hamzat, who had his first degree and currently halfway getting his second degree with NOUN, wondered why it is taking the school’s management so long a time to put things in place.
He argued that something drastic must be done to save the students the headache of being objects of laughter by students from other schools who see NOUN students as second rate students.
“Let me begin by asking a question; is it right to bar some citizens from serving the nation without the basis of law? I think not, but as it stands, graduates of National Open University of Nigeria have been officially barred or excluded from serving our fatherland. This should be a source of concern to all well meaning Nigerians.
“After the end of the civil war, the leadership of the country thought of a way to re-unite the country in an effort to bridge the fracture caused by the civil war, and after much deliberation, the National Youth Service Corps was established.
“According to Section 1 of the NYSC decree, ‘there is hereby established a scheme to be known as the National Youth Service Corps with its aims and objectives’.
“These objectives constitute the reason for establishment of the NYSC. However, it is a surprise that today, the same NYSC which was founded to bridge the ethnic divide, has now resorted to discrimination without basis.
“This is against the principle of the scheme. Going through the NYSC decree, those qualified to participate in the scheme were well spelt out.
“Section 2 of the decree states that: Subject to the provisions of this decree, every Nigerian shall: • if, at the end of the academic year 1972-73 or, as the case may be, at the end of any subsequent academic year, he shall have graduated at any university in Nigeria (ANY UNIVERSITY IN NIGERIA).
“Since this law has not been changed or the decree amended, it is a gross offence and flagrant disobedience of the laws of our land to exclude Open University graduates from the NYSC.”