Corps members

The African Initiative Against Corruption and Examination Malpractice (AFICEM), a civil society organization, has called for the immediate review of the list of nominees for the NYSC Presidential Merit Award from Imo.

The group, which staged a peaceful protest march to the National Youth Service Corps NYSC secretariat in the state.

It alleged bias in the nomination of the two corps members, Messrs Alade Siyinfoluwa and Tommy Benjamin, for the award.

It contended that the nominees had no meaningful Community Development Service (CDS) projects to their credit to merit the award.

The group also frowned at the alleged omission of the names of two corps members, who reportedly emerged overall best in 2015 and 2016.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award, which was slated for Friday, was for corps members who served between 2015 and 2017.

Addressing NYSC officials during the protest, Dr. Francis Abiaye, the National Coordinator of the group, challenged NYSC to show the CDS projects executed by Siyinfoluwa and Benjamin to qualify for the award.

Abiaye argued that Mr Mathew Ajibola, who allegedly emerged the overall best corps member of Batch A in 2015, after constructing an eight-room ultra modern tourism toilet and biogas digester facility at the Imo zoological garden, ought to make the list.

He also said that the overall best corps member of Batch A in 2016, Mr Ademola Sunday, who reportedly constructed a modern fish pond and carried out major rehabilitation work during his service year, ought to also make the list as well.

Abiaye said: “The list of proposed CDS project awardees, whose selection process is expected to be purely on merit, has been over spiced with bias and usual corruption syndrome.

“The integrity of the list has left many questions for the nomination committee to answer and we are here to demand the projects executed by the two nominees from Imo and also call for urgent review of the list.”

He threatened that the group would stage a nationwide protest against the perceived injustice, if the list was not revisited.

Some of the placards displayed by the group read: “Say no to NYSC injustice,” “NYSC, please revisit the presidential award list from Imo and nominate those who merited it,” among others.

Mr Ugochukwu Orunta, the NYSC state Public Relations Officer, thanked the group for not being violent during the protest.

Orunta assured them that their massage would be transmitted immediately to the national headquarters of NYSC for action.