By G9ija

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) says it has deployed over 200,000 corps members as ad hoc staff for 2023 general elections.

The Director General, Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at a press conference on the scheme’s preparedness for the forthcoming general elections.

General Ahmed explained that corps members represent over 75 percent of the INEC ad hoc staff for the elections.

According to him, those to participate at the elections have already been trained by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) both in and outside orientation camps.

“The National Youth Service Corp members are ever ready to do it again just as they have done it before, those who are going to participate in this election have been trained.

“Proper training has been given to them; they were admonished. Guidelines were given to them. We as individuals and staff of the scheme have also talked to the Corp members, they have been well informed and they are ready to give their best.”

The Director General warned Corps members against the collection of any form of gratification from politicians during the elections.

“We want to remind corps members to be careful in whatever environment they find themselves in. They should not accept any gift from any politician. They must not accept any food from anybody,” he added.

“As they go, they should carry at least their service support and all they need. Any form of gratification or gifts, we don’t expect any corps member to accept.

“[On] the welfare of these corps members, the INEC has promised to provide them with sleeping kits and whatever they need for the elections.”

The DG also noted that the NYSC has put in place measures to ensure corps members’ security during and after the elections.

Ahmed said part of the efforts was meeting with heads of security agencies to ensure that they are secured, adding that the scheme inaugurated a ‘Distress Call Centre’ as part of the efforts to help notify security officials of any risk.

“What is fundamental for me to also mention is the security of these Corp members. Since I took over, I have met with the IG of Police and the DSS.

“I have met with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; I have equally met with INEC and every hand is on deck to ensure that the Corps members are secured.

“We were assured by INEC that they will carry these corps members to their respective places of assignment and bring them back safely from wherever they are picking them from,” he said.