by Sola Fasasi
You’ve heard of the post-election violence that erupted in many parts of the North that caused the murder of a lot of our youths who were involved in the NYSC. Well, the #ProtectTheCorpers project s doing something about it and we need your help!
We are calling for volunteers. We are asking you to go beyond signing the petition to actually helping out and join the team that drives this project. We need your time, your expertise and your skills. We need people who are passionate about this cause and feel deeply involved as we move towards the success of this first of its kind project, a youth-driven policy change movement that will make or mar the way democracy is seen to work in Nigeria by young people.
We need two kinds of volunteers:
The Backbones- These THREE guys will be project managers for ProtectTheCorpers. They will form the technical and strategic arm of the project. These volunteers will be required to have a computer they can use well, time to spare and lots of motivation. We need volunteers who have a degree and at least two years of work experience. It is important that our “backbones” have technical capabilities and are willing to help us build all that is required for this project to be a success.
The Explorers- Our explorers will be the volunteers who realise the objectives of the project. We need 100 people who will get us one thousand signatures each. They will go to churches, university campuses, seminars and conferences to talk about the project and ensure that the signature target is reached.
Volunteers who are based in Lagos will be required to come to The Future Project office at 14 Shofidiya Close, Off Ilesanmi Street, Off Adegoke Street, Masha, Surulere, Lagos. You will need to be able to devote at least 20 hours every week and have to be prepared for the long haul battle that this project will be. This is not a call to the faint-hearted: if you’re the strongest, the most innovative, the most devoted and the most fun, we want you!
Remember, we want 100, 000 signatures. The campaign is not a typical protest, we will be working on a full scale quest to implementing the policy reforms we seek through the institutions that are directly involved in the scheme: the NYSC authorities, the Ministry for Youth and Sports and the National Assembly for the passing of a bill to reform the way the exercise is currently being conducted.
Over the next nine-months, we will be implementing a solution-oriented approach that involves
1) Engaging government on a policy level to restructure and reform the NYSC in order to protect corps members in the interim and then to completely overhaul the scheme in the long term so that it is actually useful to the nation.
2) Supporting this Policy Engagement with a wide-ranging public and media campaign to ensure pressure is sustained on the government.
As soon as the petition gets the target 100, 000 signatures, we will begin an aggressive lobby at the legislature, especially the Senate and House Committees on Youth, towards the deletion of the programme from the relevant section of the Constitution and placing it as an Act of Parliament with a revamped structure, as recommended by the Senate Spokesperson, Ike Ekweremadu.