An author and public relations expert, Michael Owhoko, has said that the National Youth Service Corps Scheme is yet to achieve its major objective of uniting Nigerians, since it was founded 45 years ago.
Owhoko, who stated this in his book entitled, Nigeria on the precipice: Issues, options, and solutions, also noted that despite the country’s enormous resources, it lacked the things that could engender progress due.
Blaming the country’s backwardness on its multi-ethnic composition and its leadership, the author said, “Even the National Youth Service Corps, a mandatory one-year programme designed and introduced by the Federal Government to engender national integration amongst the people of Nigeria, has not been able to achieve its objective.
“Paradoxically, rather than foster unity, the programme has become an albatross, creating awareness of the deep animosity and incompatible cultural differences existing in the country.
“This is manifested during interaction at the various geographical areas of deployment and assignment where corps members have firsthand experience of the hushed segregation going on in the country. With the exposition of the corps members to this distrustful process, which has become a Frankenstein monster, the country risks a bleak future.
“The future of any country is dependent mostly on the youths. If the youths are concerned by heterogenous cultural hegemony, then there is a problem.”
Owhoko also noted that unless Nigerians came together to discuss, in frank terms, the basis of their political union and how to live together, the country might as well prepare for its eventual separation.
“When people say the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, for me, it is a statement of arrogance because it makes a mockery of history. Time is not on our side, and the earlier we resolve to move forward with a common purpose as a nation, the better for us. Otherwise, we risk disintegration someday, either through peaceful or forceful means,” he said.