Some parents and guardians took to the streets of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Saturday to protest against the posting of their children and wards to the northern part of the country by the National Youth Service Corps.
The protesters disrupted business activities as they marched through the popular Yenagoa-Mbiama Road, among other roads.
They stopped by the office of The PUNCH in Yenagoa and explained to our correspondent that they were apprehensive that their children were going on a mission of no return.
The protesters, who displayed placards with the inscriptions, “The North is not safe; We cannot allow our children to be roasted; Post our children to the South; and The corpses of children killed in the past have yet to be seen,” among others, vowed to reject the posting.
They said since Boko Haram started unleashing mayhem on the country, particularly in the northern part, their youths had been murdered in cold blood.
They said they feared that the insurgents were on the loose, adding that the protest was to forestall calamities for their children.
The protesting parents asked the NYSC to review the posting without hesitation.
The protesters, who vowed that they would not stop their protest until the review of the posting, said they would not allow their children to be wasted like animals by Boko Haram.
The protest was led by the National Women Leader, United for Goodluck Success Campaign, Mrs. Favour Alafuro.
Alafuro said it was curious that over 95 per cent of youths, who graduated from the state-owned Niger Delta University, were posted to the North.
Alafuro said, “It is said that security is everybody’s business. I want to remind Nigerians that a few years ago, some of the Niger Delta youths sent to the North were killed in cold blood. Up till now, many corpses have not been found.
“The over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram, have yet to be found. Boko Haram has wreaked havoc in many states. We feel that the posting is a trap to kill our children.
“We are saying no, our children are not going. If it is safe, we have no reason to object to the posting. Unfortunately, the North, including the Federal Capital Territory is unsafe.”
She called on other parents in the country to put pressure on the NYSC to review the posting.
She said she would only allow her two children ─ a boy and a girl ─ to go to the South and not any part of the North.
“Our children, who finished at NDU, were sent to Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna and other volatile areas. We (the parents) have resolved to meet with the coordinator of NYSC in the state to post our children and wards to safe areas and not to the North. I have two children posted to the North and I do not want to lose them,” Alafuro said.
Mr. Francis Johnson, whose son was posted to Yobe State, said he would not go.
Johnson said, “We know that the NYSC issue is to bring unity to the country, but because of grave security issues in the North, I won’t allow my child to go.
“I dont want him to be slaughtered like an animal.”
Another protester, Pere Otubo, maintained she would not allow her daughter to go on her posting to the North.
Otubo, whose daughter was posted to Adamawa State, said Adamawa was one of the hotbeds of insurgency in Nigeria.
She stated, “It is not that I am not patriotic. The insecurity situation in the North has sent panic to all parents. I implore the relevant authorities to review the posting.” (Punch)