By Dan Okojie
Davido was in the NYSC Camp a few days ago in Lagos perhaps for 30mins, put on white shirt, shorts, exercise shoes and addressed his “fellow” corps members who swamped on him. The State Coordinator, military and other agencies present gave him a reception akin to that accorded the Director General of the NYSC or some VIP. In fact, the NYSC officials were battling with Corps members for a chance to have a selfie with him. They considered his presence a great privilege.
The NYSC Act prescribes a mandatory three weeks orientation at the Camp after which the other 11 months be done in one’s place of primary assignment.
Clearly, Davido being a celebrity, famous and rich, was able to secure his posting to Lagos where he lives, spent a few minutes in the Camp and zoomed off the next day or so to the US for a musical tour with the full approvals of the NYSC management.
For other regular Nigerians, you will never be accorded such privileges. You have to wake up 3am, do parades, walk and jog long distances, meander through jungles etc for three weeks with foods like that of prisoners, under the sun and in the rain. After which you may be posted to some villages that I can’t pronounce, places without roads, communication, hospitals or any sign of modernity. In the process, many young Nigerian graduates lose their lives and the hopes of parents are cut short. As in many cases, the Federal Government gives almost nothing in compensation.
In 2011, many Youth Corps members were burnt alive, some hacked to death by supporters of Buhari in many parts of Northern Nigeria because they were used as ad-hoc INEC staff. In other parts, they are raped, maimed or murdered for rituals. Some have been killed by randy policemen or military officials, others in ghastly motor accidents while commuting to the various places. Some have drowned in rivers.
Nigeria is a unique country. Different rules apply depending on your background, financial clout or social status. Children of the rich are never exposed to the realities the average man faces and so they never really understand what happens in the country. For the records, Davido has served, albeit for 30mins, it doesn’t matter. I bet you, you’d see him again on POP day with his certificate.
Until we make Nigeria work for all of us, we will continue to have different rules for different folks!