House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Director General (DG) of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Brig. General Sule Zakari Kazaure, to explain the circumstances that led to the death of three corps members at orientation camps.
The House also mandated its Committees on Youth Development and Healthcare Services to investigate and prosecute any personnel involved in the cause of these deaths.
These resolutions among others are sequel to a motion entitled “Unfortunate and Avoidable Death of Late Miss Ifedolapo Rachael Oladepo, a Corp Member at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Kano State” sponsored by Mr. Olufemi Fakeye(APC, Osun State) during Tuesday plenary.
The NYSC DG is expected to appear before the House joint committees on Justice, Youths Development and Health Services.
Moving the motion, Hon. Fakeye lamented that the demise of the 26 years old first class graduate of Aviation and Transport Management of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology was avoidable.
He said that the deceased was sick a few days after she reported to the Orientation Camp and promptly reported the condition to camp authorities.
He added that the authorities initially thought she feigned the sickness in order to dodge the routine strenuous exercises which are part of cap activities.
The lawmaker stated further that although the deceased was eventually admitted to the camp clinic under the supervision of NYSC doctor supported by NYSC nurses, the camp clinic may not be adequate.
Fakeye said: “The camp clinic may not have been adequately equipped, as the late Ifedayo was reportedly give some “Placebo” and later injected with some substance, following which a lot of rashes manifested all over her body and her tongue became twisted.”
He however suggested that Corps members should be allowed to have adequate rest at the orientation camps and the rigours of camp exercise be relapsed.
According to him, “because Oladepo’s medical condition did not improve many hours after being admitted at the clinic, she was belatedly evacuated to another hospital where she reportedly died.”
In his contribution, Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, suggested that the NYSC management should liaise with the 36 state governments to construct permanent orientation camps in the states with a fully equipped medical centre.
He said all youths Corps members should be enrolled under a health insurance scheme for the one year period of NYSC.
Gbajabiamila said that the NYSC should work with the 36 States governments and the Federal Capital Territory to build orientation camps with better health care services fully equipped in the country and ensure its inclusion in the 2017 budget.
He said: “This is one but too many deaths that should not be overlooked”
The lawmaker said that all involved in the negligence of the act including the Director General should appear before the Committees on Healthcare Services, Youths Development and Justice.
Also, in his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye expressed bitterness over the high death record of Corp members since the establishment of the NYSC programme.
He said: “We are losing future leaders in the scheme due to harsh treatment by soldiers giving these training. We should look for a way that government will give these Corp members their entitlement when they are unable to go to orientation camp.”
The House however resolved to send a delegation from the green chamber on a condolence visit to families of corps members who died during the compulsory one year exercise.
- by Bethel Tunde