THE Director General of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC), Brigadier-General Johnson Bamidele Olawumi has revealed that 134,000 Youth Corps members would partake in the March 28 and April 11, 2015, general elections, as ad-hoc staff to INEC.
General Olawumi further revealed that notwithstanding the postponement of the elections and the passing out of Corpers who had earlier been trained for the job, they would be there to work for INEC as independent staff but no longer as Corps members.
The NYSC Director General who stated this at the Annual Management Conference which held in Benin City with  the theme: “Fulfilling the Mandate of the Scheme in the Face of Current Challenges”, said it offers an opportunity for managers of the scheme to review last year’s operation and project into the new year with emphasis on better service delivery, insecurity, rejection of corps members in areas of primary assignments, increasing corper population as well as the stand of the NYSC on not posting corpers to states in which a national emergency has been declared.
The NYSC boss stated that due to peculiar situations corpers have to endure especially those who unfortunately got involved in accident situations, the “Hope Alive Programme” which is a public/private sector initiative has been set up to give financial grants to cushions the effects of such accidents as well as enable affected persons fit into society after their national service.
Brig-General Johnson Olawumi who observed that corpers have helped in no little ways in strengthening our democratic culture by their active participation in election duties as ad hoc staff warned corps members against acts of misconduct, encouraging them to remain unbiased and shun all kinds of fraternization with politicians during the election.
He harped on the safety precaution the NYSC has adopted to avoid a repeat of the 2011 incidence of post election violence. The NYSC he said is engaging community leaders on the need to educate their people not to direct their frustration at hapless coppers who are merely working as ad hoc staff in their communities.
In cases of emergency however, he stated that phone numbers of all security outfits down to their local government contact persons have been compiled and distributed to corpers serving as INEC ad hoc staff. But at headquarters he said, the electoral processes would be closely monitored and distress call centres will attend to corpers’ distress calls.