Nigeria can’t afford repeat of 1967 civil war ― El-rufai
• Tells corps members not to be used to rig 2023 polls
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has noted that Nigeria cannot afford a repeat of the 1967 civil war, which touched the very foundation of our nationhood.
This was even as he warned members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to avoid being used to rig the 2023 polls.
El-rufai gave the advised in Kaduna on Tuesday while addressing the closing ceremony of the orientation course organized for members of 2022 Batch B (Stream 2).
Represented by the state’s Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the governor noted that the civil war was a needless savagery that Nigeria cannot afford to repeat.
“The youth must remember that the NYSC came into being after the civil war that tore every fabric of the Nigerian state. The war was a needless savagery that we cannot afford to repeat.
“Nigerian youths must therefore distance themselves from fanning the embers of violence and war in Nigeria. As a country, we must avoid a repeat of that dark part of our history. And Nigerian youths must refuse to be ready tools for war mongers.
“My dear valuable corps members, I believe you have the capacity to defend what is good for our dear country and what shall build a united Nigeria and you shall not fail to do what is right for your dear country. After all, the major objective of establishing the NYSC is to promote Nigeria’s unity and enhance development.
“The national youth service is a reflection of the hope that we have placed on our young graduates as touch bearers of a greater Nigeria.
“You must prove to us that this is not a misplaced hope. We expect you to be innovative, industrious and consistently demonstrate acts of tolerance, open mindedness and perseverance in all that you do,” El-Rufai said.
Speaking on the role of the corps members in elections, Governor El-Rufai said, as representatives of the youths who are the majority in Nigeria, the corps members must shun corruption during the polls and be responsible citizens who would be said to have risen to the occasion when they were most needed.
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“I am highly impressed that the youths constitute 71% of the 12 million fresh applicants for Permanent Voter’s Card in the just concluded Continuous Voter Registration exercise.
“We therefore expect more youths participation in the 2023 general elections and I hope this participation will be positive and constructive, as opposed to previous activities of disruption, violence and ballot box snatching and other illegal activities.
“The February 2023 general elections will be requiring services of the corps members many of you will be engaged as presiding officers at the election. You must remember that you shall be representing the youth during that assignment.
“Let it not be said of you that the youth that manned the poling units for INEC during the elections were not current or were corrupt and they assisted to mar the popular will of the electorate. You must therefore be responsible citizens who rose to the occasion when they were most needed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of NYSC, Brigadier General MK Fadah, whose address was read by the State Coordinator, Mr Abel Odoba Oche, urged the corps members to build on skills they acquired during the orientation course, adding that this will avail them the chance of becoming self-relianct.
While urging corps member to remain law abiding, the director-general also warned them against unauthorised journeys and night trips.
According to him, “travelling at night will not only increase the risk of accident, but also make rescue difficult. You are, therefore, advised to always cut short your trips from 6 o’clock in the evening and pass the night at NYSC lodges, military barracks and other locations officially designated as safe.”