Sunday, April 24, 2011

3,000 NYSC Members Stranded In Bauchi

ABOUT 3,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Bauchi State are awaiting evacuation to their states of origin following the continued insecurity in the state.

Quartered in the State Security Services (SSS) Development Centre on Maiduguri Road, for the fourth day, some the corps members said they were not sure how long they would be holed up at the centre.

However, some state governments have taken the responsibility of transporting corps members from their states out of Bauchi.

The Guardian learnt that Osun and Akwa Ibom at the weekend ferried their states’ corps members from Bauchi.

And in Lagos yesterday, some businessmen from the Southeast were frantically making efforts to arrange for chartered flights to evacuate from Bauchi corps members who are from Enugu, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra States.

Initial efforts to deploy luxury buses were shelved when the NYSC Director General Brig.-Gen., M. I. Tsiga, reportedly said, “he could not guarantee the safety of the corps members on the long stretch of road from the northern axis of the country.”

However, the leader of the corps members from Anambra State, Mr. Ebuka Okolochukwu, said on telephone yesterday that Tsiga had promised to evacuate the corps members but “he didn’t say the exact date.”

Okolochukwu said that, “after the president’s speech that the state government should take care of us, our state government has promised to send some buses for us. They plan to evacuate us to Gombe and then airlift us to Lagos. But nothing has been heard from them.”

According to him, the threat of violence in Bauchi has reduced “but we are not allowed to go outside the camp.”

He noted that since Akwa Ibom and Osun corps members had left, “security became lax (at the camp), as the gates of the centre are opened and people are trooping in without check. Anything can happen; there are no policemen here, only soldiers, but they are not enough.”
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