Frustration and disappointment coupled with other unmanageable psychological conditions stared us on the face as we kept trooping to NYSC Secretariat to lodge complaints of rejection or no-accommodation from the organisation we were posted to serve. Most of us particularly those with nobody to squat with, in the state capital, slept at motor parks, police stations, on the bare floor of St. Patrick’s College Assembly Hall and the lucky ones amongst us used their first monthly allowance to lodge in shabby hotel rooms?
The unwholesome situation was not only agonizing for the corpers who have nobody in the state to accommodate them, it was most unfortunate way to be welcome into the community after departing our camp.
Sir, to be more precise, the major problems of the youth corpers particularly those deployed to places like Asaba, Warri, Sapele etc. have been lack of adequate accommodations. Let’s not forget the issue of high cost of living since our monthly allowance cannot even meet the high cost of transportation. Many of us come from distant states and have nobody in Delta State to turn to for assistance. Though we come from far away and met this bitter experience, we are even ready to serve in humility, endure the hardship and sacrifice to the development of our fatherland. We are equally ready to utilise our youthfulness, vigour and vitality in the improvement of this new state. We cannot shy away from what is enjoined upon us after swearing the call to serve our nation. But our desired dream to serve towards the betterment of our present society won’t materialise without being provided with modest accommodation where we can crack our brain on what to do.
This letter could not have been channeled to His Excellency, Governor Felix Ibru but for the fact that he has demonstrated a leadership quality during our period in the camp by increasing our feeding allowance and solving most of our problems. Indeed the Governor has doggedly championed the improvement of corpers’ welfare.
Without mincing words, I am aware of how well you perform your duties but still, sir, you’ve the responsibility to take care of us. Sir, kindly make it your resolve to put your best, bearing in mind that you need to leave a good precedent for any incoming executive to emulate. A scenario where girls unwillingly open up for every Tom, Dick and Harry, where poor corpers have to sleep in hotels, and other disgusting places just to serve their fatherland are sad notes in the present democratic dispensation.
For the above, Sir, I implore you to use your good office to provide accommodations for all the corpers in the state through acquisition, erection and renovation of houses. We can’t deny the fact that the state is one of the newly created states and indeed it is a beautiful place to serve but circumstance should not be allowed to dampen the corpers’ enthusiasm.
This ‘Letter to the Editor’ by Yushau A. Shuaib was originally published in The Triumph December 1992