NYSC redeploys beaten Corps member, 11 others
THE National Youth Service Corps NYSC on Wednesday, disclosed that Corps member Esi Uwakwe, who was allegedly beaten by a policeman in Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State, on the instance of punishing a student has been withdrawn from the State alongside eleven others serving in the school.
It said the Corps member in question, was redeployed out of the State to Anambra for security reasons.
The Director, Welfare and Inspectorate, Mrs. Bose Okakwu told newsmen in Abuja that as against reports, the Corps member was not brutalised, and no injuries inflicted on him.
According to her, the Corps member who was invited to the scheme’s headquarters in Abuja, also confirmed that he was not brutalised, but rather slapped by a Police officer and detained for a period of six hours.
She further added, the post circulated on social media is false, adding that the purported picture of the corps member as gathered is also false.
“Yes, we have removed this corps member from the school. We asked if he was comfortable remaining in the State. His reply, ‘there’s the phobia of being molested in this place, they might still come after me,’ so the corps member said he would rather leave the State.”
“That same Friday, his relocation was approved in an online process, and as I speak, the Corps member is out of Zamfara State. He was brought physically to Abuja, because we have to bring him personally and be sure that he is safe.”
“So for us, it is really unfortunate that some unscrupulous elements seized this opportunity and started posting a lot of things about the NYSC,” Okakwu added.
“In fact, the corps member that was supposedly assaulted, I spoke personally with him, I asked him if he was injured at all by the Police? He said no, was only detained for 6 hours and was released thereafter. So I don’t know where the information came from,” she said.
On the actual facts of the incident, Okakwu said:
“On Wednesday last week, we got information from Zamfara State that a corps member had some issues. In fact we just heard that the Corps member was beaten, and that the police arrested and detained him and later released him.
When that information got to us, I had to speak to the state coordinator to give full details, because we don’t take sides without having full information. She told me, yes, that the corps member had problems in a school where he was teaching, Nasara Standard Academy and he punished a student.
“He said he came to the class and said he was going to give them a test and they should all put their books away and get ready. A lady student was feeling uneasy and uncooperative, and in the process of doing the test, she hissed. He asked why she hissed in the class, because it is a rude behaviour, she had nothing to say.
After a while, he went to where she was writing and asked what the matter was with her, “why would you be hissing in the class?” he asked. The next thing he saw in the script she wrote, ‘nonsense test’ and he got infuriated knowing fully well that he was doing his best to actually impact knowledge to this younger ones. Giving them test was to prove that he has been able to do something in the lives of this children.
“And he asked, what I set in the test, is it not what I taught you? Or did I go outside what I taught? So he asked the girl to go outside and kneel down and in the process he asked her to crawl on her legs. She crawled with her knees and got bruises, according to him, he went to the staff room and was talking with other teachers and later they came to the class to look for the girl but she had left.”
“Now the girl went home, spoke to her father, and the father was infuriated, went to the Police, he said he was in the staff room when he was called that he was needed in the Principal’s office. He got to the Principal’s office and he met some men and they said he must go with them. He said he would not go, that after all he is a corps member and he is doing his job, and there was some squabbles in the process and he insisted that if he has to go, he must go with the principal or vice. So he went with the Principal to the police station, where he was slapped, he was also detained for about 6 hours with the principal.”
“When I got the story from the State coordinator, I asked what has been done. Good enough, I must commend the officers on ground, the corps member confessed to me that the local government inspector and zonal inspector were there when they heard the story from there colleague. They rushed to the station to see what they could do to get the Corps member to be released.
“And I told them, we are not done yet. I said today is Thursday, I said all the corps members in the school, how many are they, eleven. I said withdraw them immediately, repost them to schools or other establishments in Gusso on that same Thursday.”
“I told the State coordinator to make a formal report to the Commissioner of Police, although it was a bit late; call the man on phone. Make a report and our disappointment, we will not want a situation where if there is problem, Police should bring peace, not that our corps member be slapped.”
“The Commissioner of Police then asked everyone to come on Friday by 12pm. That includes the punished student, the corps member, the principal and the NYSC and the other corpers posted to the school. They all went for that meeting and the commissioner told them clearly that yes, this is an issue but not an issue for the police. It is an issue that is supposed to be settled within the school.”
“The corps member should have reported the case, told the school authorities; so that they could have taken actions and the parents of the student could have also reported the case to the school authorities for them to take the appropriate steps but that was not done.”
“The commissioner, said he was also very sorry for the way the police handled the case by beating up the corps member.”