Within Thursday, December 1, and Friday, December 2, there have been reports regarding deaths of two corps members. The co-incidence as many would call it is one that has stirred great debates regarding the importance of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).
Many do not see the importance of having to serve for one year, after graduating from the University.
Like the two cases recorded in the last 2days, Nigeria has mourned many corps members who died while serving their fatherland. Below are the top 6 for 2016.
1. The unknown comrade
A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member is feared drowned in a boat accident on Thursday in Okpotuwari Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Sources in the community told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the corps member, who hailed from Anambra drowned when the canoe he boarded capsized.
A yet to be identified corps member is said to have died in a boat accident at Okpotuwari Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Mr Tontiemote Yeiyei, a resident of the community said that the deceased, who was serving at Okpotuwari Community had gone to Ondewari with two of his friends across the Osiana creek by a hand paddled canoe.
Yeiyei said the ill-fated canoe encountered rough currents at the jetty as the deceased and the others were returning to Okpotuwari.
He said that following the boat accident, sympathisers quickly raised a search party, during which the two others were rescued alive.
“The rescue team searched for the remains of the drowned corps member to no avail, and local divers later joined them but they are yet to find the body. Hopefully it will be afloat by Saturday.
“The survivors have been stabilised and are being taken care of at a clinic,” Yeiyei said.
Marine police sources in Southern Ijaw said that the incident was yet to be reported.
2. James Onuh
The incident took place at Obele, a suburb of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital. James Onuh was reportedly killed by suspected cultists in the community.
File photo :James Onuh was reportedly killed by Suspected cultists in Obele community.
According to reports, the deceased, a graduate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Markurdi in Benue State, was attached to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Works for his primary assignment. Official sources at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) gave his name as
Confirming the development, spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asimin Butswat, said the deceased was shot and was rushed to the hospital, where he later died. “We are trailing the suspects; investigations are ongoing,” said the spokesman.
3. Okonta Samuel
Okonta Samuel, with call-up number RV/15B/5539, was serving in Rivers state and he died while helping to facilitate the election re-run.
A statement by the NYSC said Samuel, who served at GCSS Ukpeliede, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Ahoada West Local Government Area.
Okonta Samuel was killed while helping to facilitate the Rivers election re-run.
The scheme said: “The murder of this patriotic young man, who was an orphan, is primitive, barbaric, and ungodly; and should be strongly condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“The NYSC shall work with relevant agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous act are fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“We consider Okonta Samuel’s death as a great loss, not only to his immediate family, but also to all of us in the NYSC family and the entire nation. It prayed for the repose of his soul and for the family to have the fortitude to bear the loss. NYSC also said two other corps members that were with the deceased at the time of the incident were rescued by security agents.
It added: “We also wish to inform that another corps member Anana Aniekan Udoetor (RV/15B/5537), who was earlier reported missing, has been found and is hale and hearty.”
4. Miss Chiyerum Elechi
She was a newly deployed female corps member and she died at her place of deployment in Bayelsa. Chiyerum is said to have bleed profusely from her orifices before finally dying at the orientation camp in Kaiama, Kolokuma-Opokoma local government area of the state.
This Day reports that the deceased was confirmed dead in a hospital in Yenagoa Wednesday, November 30, after she reported to the camp with an ailment that made her to bleed and vomit blood from the openings in her body.
Miss Elechi, 27, who hailed from Rivers State and studied at the Ignatius Azuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, was reportedly found vomiting at her lodge after arriving the camp sick and could not participate in most activities lined up for the day’s session of the orientation.
Some NYSC officials who spoke in confidence, described the incident as a case of non-disclosure of an ailment by the corps member as a search carried out on her hostel showed sanitary pads and her dresses soaked in blood.
A source at the camp said the corps member was found vomiting and bleeding and was immediately rushed to the camp’s clinic, where the doctors said her case was too severe to be treated there.
“She was driven to a hospital in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital. Unfortunately before getting to the hospital she died. She was only five days old at the camp.
“The news of her death shocked everybody. We have not recovered from it because it is painful to die that way after going through higher institutions,” the source said.
“The doctor at the NYSC camp clinic had immediately referred her to the State owned Diette-Koki Memorial Hospital in Opolo area of the state capital where she was confirmed dead,” it added.
5. Ifedolapo Oladepo
Ifedolapo Oladepo, was recently reported dead at the NYSC orientation camp in Kano, due to negligence after they thought she was faking sickness to avoid parade.
Ifedolapo Oladepo was a very brilliant student.
The first class Transport Management graduate of the Ladoke Akintola university of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, was buried yesterday, December 1, in her hometown in Osogbo, Osun state.
6. Ukeme Asuquo
A first class graduate of Petroleum Engineering from the University of Uyo, identifeid as Ukeme Asuquo , died at the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) camp in Zamfara state.
It was gathered that Ukeme passed away on Thursday, December 1, after suffering from Diarrhea.
According to his friend, Victor Jerry Emah, Ukeme never wanted to go for service in Zamfara and was destabilized the moment he received his call-up letter.
Ukeme was a brilliant student who won 4 scholarships as a student and finished as Overall Best Engineering Student in his set.
The heartbroken mother of the NYSC 2016 batch B member, Ifedolapo Oladepo, who recently died at the Kano orientation camp, has shared her grief, recounting how she contacted her before her death.
Reading through the stories of these corps members who lost their lives while serving, one is quickly drawn to the fact that a lot of care and attention is lacking with regards to the NYSC programme.
The government must make a very conscious effort to see that the participants of this scheme are well protected and are given the best of medical attention.
It is sad that a child would be trained up to university level, only to have him or her lose his or her life in a situation that could have been handled in better ways.
This is a wake up call to the government, they need to look into the NYSC programme and decide if it is worth keeping or if it is time to scrap it entirely.