Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has called for a review of the National Youth Service Youth Corps (NYSC).
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement on Sunday who noted that the establishment of the NYSC is one of the greatest policies ever conceived in the country however stated that the scheme needs to be reviewed to reflect current realities.
Atiku in the statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe to mark the 50th anniversary of the NYSC also praised General Yakubu Gowon for introducing the policy for national unification.
According to Atiku, “We must acknowledge and give credit to General Yakubu Gowon for introducing this brilliant idea aimed at consolidating national unity after the bitter memories of the tragic Nigerian civil war.”
“Unity which is also my personal agenda as a politician, is essential to building a strong country because a divided country is a weakened country. For decades our youths and children have been infected with hate and prejudice. They can’t think for themselves; they judge others unfairly because they didn’t interact with others to understand them. Interaction with others is one of the best ways to independently and objectively judge them, thereby changing our notions about other people.”
Speaking further, Atiku was quoted in the statement to have said “Indeed, the NYSC went a long way to neutralize the impact of prejudice through interaction with other people, and in fact, even encouraged inter-marriages.”
“The history of this great policy will be incomplete without a mention of the remarkable role played by Gowon and his administration in the success of this programme.”
The former Vice president also called on politicians, religious leaders, and other opinion leaders to continue to encourage unity among the people, warning that disunity feeds hate which in turn, feeds conflicts.
“We should at all times make utterances that promote love and unity and avoid statements that stoke up bitter divisions and intolerance,” he added.