President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), for the wisdom of setting up the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1973.
The scheme came into implementation after the Civil War of 1967–1970 as part of a post-war policy formulated to reconcile and integrate young Nigerians across all regions of the country.
According to Mr. President in a statement on Friday made available by Femi Adesina, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari congratulated the former Head of State and all directors-general of the corps, past and present, for inspiring and sustaining a 50-year legacy.
“I commend the former Head of State, past and present Directors General of the Corps, academic institutions, and the Nigerian Army for inspiring and sustaining a 50-year legacy and also providing an enabling environment for the success of the scheme,” he said.
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President Buhari added that the scheme has truly achieved the goal of national integration, by providing opportunities for cross-cultural interactions and establishing a bridge for improved understanding of various individual and ethnic identities.
He noted that the scheme has underscored the bottom line of the common values of fairness, justice, peace and unity.
“The NYSC scheme remains one the strongest ideals of nation building, institutionally encouraging inter-cultural and inter-religious marriages, resettling of people of various tribes in different parts of the country.
“Exploration of entrepreneurship and business opportunities in places, among citizens, and enabling a new culture of oneness, brotherliness and neighbourliness,” Buhari stated.
He affirmed that the scheme should be sustained, with a constant reminder of its history, structure and purpose, adding that it should not be undermined for any reason.