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Senate Orders Probe into Death of Youth Corps Members

Ayodele Afolabi

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate has ordered thorough investigation into the death of three youth corps member, Miss Ifedolapo Oladepo, Miss Elechi Chiyerom and Mr. Ukeme who all died under questionable circumstances while during orientation at different camps as part of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

Ifedolapo and Chiyerom died same day on November 29, 2016 in Kano and Bayelsa orientation camps respectively while Ukeme died at the Zamfara orientation camp on the December 1, 2016.

Senate’s move to probe the deaths was on the strength of a motion moved to that effect by Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC, Osun Central).

In his lead debate on the motion, Senator Adeyeye described as a sad occurrence the death of the Corps members who were observing the orientation programme as part of the mandatory one year NYSC programme.

He noted that the situation is saddening because “the death of Corps members are becoming a recurrent decimal in almost all NYSC Camps across the country”

The Osun state born Senator also faulted the below para-medical assistance available to Corps members across all orientation camps across the country.

He faulted the usual practice of allowing fresh graduate medical doctors manning the health centres in the camps, a situation he noted, usually end in high rate of casualty when serious medical challenges arise among the corps members.

He described as worrisome “that medical facilities at most Orientation Camp leaves a lot to be desired as one of the deceased, Ifedolapo called home five hours to her death and told her elder edsister, Mrs. Oyeyode Abimbola (a nurse) to start coming to her Kano orientation camp alleging poor care at the NYSC camp”.

He also described as unacceptable a situation where “an Orientation Camp that houses over three thousand Corps members cannot boast of modern facilities to cater for the needs of corps members while undergoing the mandatory Orientation programme”

He apportioned blames on the NYSC officials for the deaths as he expressed concerns that “NYSC officials are not up and doing in their official duties as they expose these Corps members to all manner of dangers”

According to him, “the unsavoury situation has made it imperative that a total overhaul is needed in the various orientation camps, especially as it affects the healthcare delivery system”.

Consequently the Senate aside is mandating its committee on Sports and Youths Development to carry out thorough investigation on circumstances that led to death of the young, vibrant, highly cerebral and promising Nigerians, with a view to warding off future occurrence. He also called on Federal Government of Nigeria to improve on Medical facilities and other essential physical infrastructure in all the NYSC Orientation Camps across the country with deployment of experienced Medical Personnels to their medical centres.

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