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QUESTION: NYSC denies asking corps members plying high-risk roads to prepare ransom — but who issued the handbook?

QUESTION: NYSC denies asking corps members plying high-risk roads to prepare ransom — but who issued the handbook?
September 24
14:12 2021

A section of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) handbook urging corps members to alert their loved ones to prepare ransom when plying high-risk roads in case they are kidnapped has surfaced online.

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The now-viral section is part of the NYSC handbook titled ‘Security Awareness and Education Handbook for Corps Members and Staff.’

In the book, the scheme gave several safety tips to the corps members amid the rising insecurity in the country.

According to the part of the book, which was obtained by TheCable, the NYSC mentioned some of the high-risk regions to include Abuja to Kaduna and Aba to Port Harcourt roads.

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“When travelling in high risk roads such as Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Lokoja — Okene or Aba – Port Harcourt roads, then alert your family members, friends and colleagues in order to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded,” it read.

It is understood that not all the corps members got the version of the handbook containing the directive.

TheCable reached out to some 2021 batch B stream I and II corps members in Oyo and Ogun states respectively who confirmed that they had a copy of the handbook.

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Further checks also showed that the version of the handbook was also given to corps members last year.

A 2020 batch A corps member posted to Nasarawa state told TheCable that he was given the same handbook.

But in a statement on Thursday by Adenike Adeyemi, its spokesperson, the NYSC denied giving such advice as contained in the handbook.

It also described the claim as “antics of mischief-makers out to ridicule the scheme.”

“The attention of the management of the National Youth Sevice Corps has been drawn to a fake release making the rounds on the social media to the effect that corps members travelling on “high risk roads” should alert their families, friends and colleagues in order to have somebody to pay off the ransom that could be demanded in the event of being kidnapped,” it read.

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“Management wishes to emphatically state that the clause quoted is not embedded in NYSC security tips pamphlet which was put together by a highly respected retired security expert.

“Management wishes to appeal to the general public to always clarify issues with the scheme. Please, be wary of falling prey to the antics of mischief makers out to ridicule the scheme.

“Management shall continue to prioritise the security and welfare of corps members and staff at all times.”

It remains unclear why the NYSC denied giving the security advice as contained in its handbook.

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When TheCable reached out to Adeyemi for clarification on the directive in the handbook her phone number was not reachable. The NYSC spokesperson is also yet to reply to messages sent to her phone number as of the time of this report.

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