BAYELSA, Nigeria – Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has warned corps members against involving themselves in electoral malpractice.
Ibrahim warned that corps members to be deployed as ad-hoc staff during the election would be prosecuted if they violate any electoral rule.
Addressing corps members in company of the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday in Yenagoa, the state capital, the NYSC DG also disclosed that the monthly allowance of corps members was tied to the national minimum wage and any hike will depend on the new wage.
He said: “The NYSC has benefited a lot from the collaboration with INEC. The partnership has exposed the potentials of our corps members and it has also made NYSC and corps members relevant in the eyes of Nigerians.
“The collaboration has also strengthened the electoral process in Nigeria. It has added value, credibility and acceptance to Nigeria elections and what it means is that all of you must be ready to put in your best.
“You therefore have no option than to put in your best. You have to be neutral and non-partisan and thank God that you have been trained on the process. As corps members, you are from different parts of this country and you have a lot to showcase to the people of Bayelsa. You have to give them the best in this election.
“I am also sure you are conversant with electoral offences and I am also sure that you must have been briefed.
“Therefore, if you violate any Electoral Act or rule, you will be compelled to face the full wrath of the law. You are going to be prosecuted because NYSC will not tolerate any corps member who violates Electoral Act. If you violate Electoral Act, you will be prosecuted.
“You must be fairly treated and I am also sure that plans are in place for you to be given live vests. Make sure that your phones are fully charged and good enough that the INEC Chairman has promised to provide generators on the eve of the election.
“Have enough airtime, so that if there is emergency, you can communicate. When confronted with obvious danger, put on your live vest. I am happy that both the Brigade Commander and the IGP have assured that you will be adequately protected. Please, be very careful and don’t endanger your safety.
“Make your feeding plans very important. Be courteous, polite and civil in your dealing with the electorates. Don’t be arrogant. Comport yourself and don’t be easily provoked.
“Shun every act of sharp practices because as corps members, you should be conscious of your integrity and that of the scheme. Be the ambassadors of your parents, yourself and INEC. Don’t do anything that will tarnish the image of the scheme, INEC and your families.
“I want to assure INEC and Bayelsa people that the corps members will not be partisan, however, I want to appeal that their security should be paramount to the people of Bayelsans.
“Don’t touch my corps members because they are here to contribute to the political process of this country. To the corps members, I know that the job is a thankless one, but I assure you that Nigerians are appreciative of your inputs.”