Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, says those calling for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme do not mean well for the country.
The NYSC scheme was set up in 1973 during the military regime of Yakubu Gowon as an effort to reconcile and rebuild the country after the civil war.
The house of representatives is currently considering a bill seeking to scrap the scheme.
Speaking on Monday when members of NYSC batch A stream 2 posted to Sokoto visited his palace, the sultan said the scheme was established to foster the nation’s unity and strengthen ties among Nigerians.
“I heard there are efforts for the scrapping of the NYSC scheme. I assure you that those behind that struggle do not mean well for this country,” he said.
According to him, the NYSC scheme is the most needed programme in view of the present situation in which Nigeria is almost divided along ethnic and religious lines.
He welcomed corps members posted to the state, saying they will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in Sokoto.
Abubakar urged the corps members to consider the state as their second home and explore the opportunities therein.
Advising the corps members to respect the customs and traditions of their host communities, the monarch also urged them to be security conscious.
“I urge you to be security conscious while staying in Sokoto. You know there are security challenges now all over the world. We have our own share also,” he said.
”You should not keep late nights and if you have any challenges, contact your district heads because they are like your fathers and guardians.”
He gave the assurance that there would not be any reprisal because a northerner had been killed in the south, adding that life is sacred and no one has the right to kill anybody at will.
He implored leaders to speak up when things are going wrong, saying injustice must also be addressed to calm tension and agitations.
Earlier, Philip Enaberue, Sokoto NYSC coordinator, thanked the sultan for his support.
Enaberue said it was a tradition to visit the palace and pay homage to the sultan and seek his fatherly advice, adding that 1,414 corps members are undergoing orientation in the state.
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