Corps members’ deaths: Is NYSC really worth it?

“Life itself was only futility, vain words, a squabble of cap and bells.”–Michel Foucault

Life is Precious Quotes
Life is Precious Quotes

In June 6, 2015, a National Youth Corps member was brutally killed in Aboh Mbise, Imo State; Okonta Samuel Dumebi was also shot dead March 19, 2016 during a parliamentary rerun election in Rivers State, reports.

Corps members were easy target whenever violence broke out in some parts of Nigeria. Some corps members were slaughtered in the North six years ago.

This time, they were not physically shot, according to report, negligence and poor medical attention led to the untimely death of three excited Nigerian graduates who were serving their fatherland.ifedolapo-amoke-oladepo

The deaths of Ifedolapo Amoke Oladepo in Kano NYSC Orientation Camp, Elechi Chiyerom in Bayelsa State Orientation Camp, and Ukeme Asuquo in Zamfara State Orientation Camp is giving some members of the Upper Legislative Chamber of Nigeria a huge headache.

“Is it really worth it to go and die in an orientation camp?” Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, asked his fellow lawmakers, Thursday December 8, 2016, in Abuja.


According to him, “This is a sad moment for us. What I have heard confirms what I thought was in the realm of speculations.

It may not have been intentional, but I think it was an act of irresponsibility. Who will not provide medical attention to a sick person? We look forward to the outcome of the investigation.

“An example should be set. To say the least, this is a barbaric act. This calls for a rethink about the NYSC Act. Is it really worth it to go and die in an orientation camp?

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Politicians use these same corps members to rig elections and we do not value their lives.”

Corroborating his stance, Senator Binta Garba from Adamawa said, “From what we have seen, we need to overhaul the NYSC. We need to look into the activities of NYSC.”ifedolapo-amoke-oladepo-burried-in-osogbo

Both senators were reacting to a motion moved by Senate Chief Whip Senator Olusola Adeyeye from Osun State, which called for the total overhaul of the NYSC “the state of orientation camps across the country is unfit for human habitation”

“The death of corps members are becoming recurrent in almost all NYSC Camps across the country. Experienced medical personnel are practically non-existent in all our Orientation Camps across the country, as fresh doctors who have not garnered any experience are the ones administering treatment…

“Medical facilities at most Orientation Camps leave a lot to be desired as one of the deceased, Ifedolapo, called home five hours to her death and told her older sister, Mrs. Oyeyode Abimbola (a nurse) to start coming to her Kano Orientation Camp, alleging poor care at the NYSC camp.

“An Orientation Camp that houses over three thousand corps members cannot boast of modern facilities to cater for the needs of corps members while undergoing the mandatory Orientation Programme.


“NYSC officials are not up and doing in their official duties, as they expose these corps members to all manner of dangers. I strongly believe that NYSC needs total overhauling particularly its healthcare system.”

The Senate had mandated its Committee on Sports and Youth Development to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the three corps members in order to guide against future occurrences.

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But in the case of Ifedolapo Amoke Oladepo who graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State,  quoted Ifedolapo’s elder sister as saying in a facebook post that her sister died of a strange injection.

“You called me five hours to your death and told me to start coming as the NYSC doctors are not doing anything for you they thought you were pretending you did not want to go for parade so they did not attend to you.ifedolapo-amoke-oladepo

“When you started calling people from home they eventually gave you an injection immediately after the injection, you called me again that you noticed a lot of rashes on your body that I should speak with the doctor who refused to talk to me.

“You called five minutes later and told me your tongue is twisting they sent all your friends out after seeing all the reaction on your body after giving you the unknown injection.

“I told you to tell anybody in the clinic that I’m a nurse they should allow me to speak to them a male nurse took phone from you and told me you were having anaphylactic reaction and they will watch you for just one hour and transfer you to Aminu Kano teaching hospital but alas they did not transfer you until 5 hours later wen they notice u are restless.

“I boarded a bus going to Kano with your sister Kemisola Oladepo to come pick you from there, I begged them to take you to a teaching hospital around but they took you to General hospital, Gwazo where they have nothing or little care to render.

“They took your phone from you claiming you were not resting, from that 5pm I could not talk to you, I took a 16-hour journey to make sure I get to you,but I was called around 3am that you gave up, without any doctor in the hospital to assist you the only nurse on duty told me she tried her best.

“Till I got to Kano, I was hoping it will only be a mix up somewhere it can’t be you, got to Kano and met you at Aminu Kano mortuary,alas it was you being put in that cold place.”


Meanwhile, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who avoided Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s question has said that there’s need to quickly attend to the issue of medical attention in all the NYSC orientation camps across the country, “We need to address the issue of health services in orientation camps. This is an issue we should capture in the 2017 budget.”

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