One of the foremost traditional rulers in Nigeria has described the National Youth Service Corps Scheme as the only panacea to enhance our elusive national unity.
The newly crowned Olowo of Owo Kingdom, HRM (Oba) Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye asserted stated this when he played host to the Ondo State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs. Grace Akpabio and her management team.
The monarch opined that the establishment of the laudable Scheme has eroded the primordial knowledge and beliefs which made one ethnic group to suspect the other.
According to the revered royal father, NYSC over the years has encouraged social and cultural integration which is now the basis on which suspicion has given way to mutual trust whereby those who observed the mandatory one year service in a particular state and community are staying back to contribute meaningfully to the development of their second home.
“NYSC has remained the only catalyst that has made it possible for citizens of this country to see themselves as one indivisible entity. You can imagine how the programme has promoted inter tribal marriages thus fostering the much anticipated national unity.
“I want to inform this gathering that the coming together of graduate youths from different ethnic groups and backgrounds to contribute to the overall development of this nation has great influence on our being as no ethnic group can operate as an island”.
Oba Ogunoye who is a lawyer by training promised to use his position to attract development to NYSC in the Sunshine State.
“The corps members are doing great in all the communities they are posted and as a custodian of people within the Kingdom, we shall do the needful within the ambit of the law to provide at all times, a conducive environment for them to function effectively.
“I will liaise with the relevant security agencies within the Local Government notably the Police, Department of State Security, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as local vigilante group to monitor and secure the corps members in my Kingdom”.
The retired career civil servant who rose to the peak as Permanent Secretary before ascending the throne of his forefathers acknowledged that corps members are germane to the development we desire in this country.
The retired Permanent Secretary promised to liaise with the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Owo to provide a more befitting accommodation and ensure adequate security for corps members serving with the institution.
The new king who is loved by all the indigenes and residents of the Kingdom, while thanking the State Coordinator for coming with her management team and the corps members to felicitate with him on his coronation announced that the corps members should see the palace as their home.
“I want to thank the State Coordinator who has always acceded to my request for corps members when I was in the Civil Service, a very accommodating and detribalised Nigerian who is making waves with the development she is daily bringing to NYSC in the Sunshine State”.
Speaking earlier, the State Coordinator, Mrs. Grace Akpabio felicitated with the Olowo on his ascension to the throne of his forefathers and prayed that his reign shall be peaceful like that of his ancestors.
The State Coordinator appealed to the royal father to use his position in the state to influence the establishment of NYSC Local Government Committee in all the Councils in the State as all previous efforts have not yielded any positive result.
Mrs. Akpabio used the opportunity of the visit to present to the traditional ruler the sketch of the house plan for the Corpers Lodge prepared by the corps members serving in Owo Council area for a befitting accommodation as the present arrangement is grossly inadequate for one of the highest corps employers in the State.
The State Coordinator was accompanied to the palace by Assistant Directors in charge of Corps Monitoring and Inspection; Corps Discipline and Reward; Human Resource Management and some representatives of corps members serving in the ancient town.