The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, says agitation for the scrapping of the National Youth Service (NYSC) scheme is not in the interest of Nigeria’s unity.
Mr Abubakar spoke when he hosted some selected members of NYSC Batch A stream 2 Corps members posted to Sokoto state in his palace on Monday in Sokoto.
The Sultan said that those agitating for the scrapping of the scheme did not mean well for the country.
The emir explained that the NYSC scheme was established to foster the nation’s unity and strengthen ties among Nigerians.
“I heard there are efforts for the scrapping of the NYSC scheme, I assure you that those behind that struggle do not mean well for this country,” Mr Abubakar said.
According to him, the NYSC scheme is the most needed programme in view of the present situation when Nigeria is almost divided along ethnic and religious lines.
He welcomed youth corps members posted to the state, saying that the state was the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar urged the youth corps members to consider the state as their second home and explore the opportunities therein.
The paramount ruler, who advised them to respect the customs and traditions of their host communities, urged them to be security conscious as there are security challenges in parts of the state.
“I urge you to be security conscious while staying in Sokoto, you know there are security challenges now all over the world, we have our own share also.
”You should not keep late nights and if you have any challenges contact your district head because they are like your father and guardian ” he said.
He gave assurance that there would not be any reprisal “because a northerner had been killed in Owerri, Enugu or Aba”, saying that another person could not be punished because of what someone did elsewhere.
He said that the two major religions in Nigeria, Christianity and Islam are against the killing of innocent people, saying life is sacred and no one has the right to kill anybody at will.
He implored leaders to speak up when things were going wrong, saying injustice must also be addressed to calm tension and agitations.
Earlier, Philip Enaberue, the Sokoto State NYSC Coordinator, thanked the Sultan for his unflinching support to the scheme in the state.
Mr Enaberue said as it was a tradition and that they were in the palace to pay homage to the Sultan and seek his fatherly advice.
He said that 1,414 youth corps members were undergoing orientation in the state, out of which 714 were males while 700 were females from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.