Oba Ajibade Gbadegedi Ogunoye of Owo kingdom, in Ondo, has described the National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) as the panacea for disunity in the country.
The newly-crowned monarch stated this when he hosted the Ondo State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Grace Akpabio, and her management team in his palace on Monday.
He said that the establishment of the scheme had eroded the primordial knowledge and beliefs which made one ethnic group to suspect the other.
According to Ogunoye, NYSC over the years has encouraged social and cultural integration, which is now the reason suspicion has given way to mutual trust among citizens.
He observed that some of the corps members who observed the one year mandatory service in particular states and communities were now staying back to contribute meaningfully to the development of such states and communities.
He said that such people were thus making those states and communities their second homes.
“NYSC has remained the only catalyst that made it possible for citizens of this country to see themselves as one indivisible entity.
“You can imagine how the programme has promoted inter-tribal marriages thus fostering the much anticipated national unity.
“The coming together of graduates from different ethnic groups and backgrounds to contribute to the overall development of this nation has great influence on our being as no ethnic group can operate as an island,” he said.
Ogunoye, who said that corps members were germane to the development of the country, promise to use his position to attract development to NYSC in the Sunshine State.
“The corps members are doing great in all the communities they are posted to.
“As a custodian of people within the Kingdom, we shall do the needful within the ambit of the law to provide a conducive environment for them to function effectively at all times,’’ he said.
The traditional ruler promised to liaise with the relevant security agencies within the Local Government as well as vigilance groups to monitor and secure the corps members in his Kingdom.
“I will also liaise with the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Owo, to provide a more befitting accommodation and ensure adequate security for corps members serving with the institution.
“I want to thank the state coordinator, who has always acceded to my request for corps members when I was in the Civil Service,’’ he added.
He described the coordinator as “a very accommodating and detribalised Nigerian who is making waves with the development she is bringing to NYSC in the Sunshine State daily”.
Speaking earlier, Ondo NYSC Coordinator, Akpabio, felicitated with the Monarch on his ascension to the throne of his forefathers and prayed that his reign shall be peaceful like those of his predecessors.
The coordinator appealed to the royal father to use his position in the state to influence the establishment of NYSC Local Government Committee in all the Councils of the state.