MANGU (PLATEAU) – Mrs. Lois Meller, Plateau NYSC Coordinator, has challenged corps members deployed to rural settlements to identify specific concerns of their host communities and tackle them.
“Corps members posted to rural areas should see that as a challenge and work toward improving the lots of such settlements,’’ Meller said in Mangu, on Wednesday, after reviewing the just concluded orientation exercise of the batch `C’.
She said that the rural areas had always been a priority in the deployment of corps members for their primary assignments because the scheme believed that grassroots people needed more attention.
Meller advised the corps members to look out for major rural challenges like water supply, community health and basic sanitation and mobilize the people to help themselves.
“They could also look at the challenges facing education, especially that of the girl-child, and initiate steps to remove bottlenecks on the path to the dreams of the young ones,’’ she said.
She also advised those of them that would be engaged to serve in next year’s general election process to be “very committed’’ and put national and patriotic interest above every consideration.
“Corps members that had handled earlier election processes have always been commended and I expect nothing less from those who will be so engaged this time,’’ she said.
The Co-ordinator expressed happiness over the return of peace to Jos, and stressed that the development had made it possible for more corps members to be posted to the state.
“Few years ago, Plateau had just an average of 500 corps members, who grudgingly agreed to serve in the state, but we currently have an average of 3,800 coming in.
“We had 3,800 corps members in Batch `B’; now we have just deployed more than 3,500 in the batch `C’ group.
“We also used to have so many people seeking to be redeployed. Now, we have so many from other states seeking to be redeployed to Plateau. That means that the state has become very attractive to everyone,’’ she said.
Meller said that steps were usually taken to ensure the safety of every corps member, and explained that the NYSC office usually liase with the office of the State Security Service and other security outfits before arriving at where to post corps members.
“We have also encouraged corps members feeling unsafe in their areas of primary assignment to promptly report to us,’’ she explained.
Some corps members, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the scheme’s handlers for the “motherly care’’ they enjoyed in the camp, and specially lauded them for “the good fruits’’ that were constantly on the menu.
“Actually, I wanted to be redeployed to Lagos but I have changed my mind because the people of Plateau are very warm,’’ Bola Ajibade, a mass communication graduate of the Lagos State University, told NAN. (NAN)