The recent surge in activities of insurgents leading to loss of numerous lives means that worries about a global virus will have to take a backseat. In fact, people in Borno will worry more about keeping their heads than washing their hands following the horror that met with scores of farmers on their rice plantation.
Yet, even with spate of killings and kidnapping, COVID-19 remains real and its potency intact. When recession is thrown into the mix, Nigeria’s case becomes a parody of ‘A Thousand Ways to Die in Africa.’
With the nation’s predicament, it is then surprising to see the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) deploy the youth to virtually every state in the country, including the Boko Haram-infested North East where even governors and their military entourage are not spared from attacks.
Corps members have not been silent about their postings, with some lamenting in the media about being posted to states such as Borno, Zamfara and Yobe.
Some of these insurgency-ravaged states, going by the words of presidential aide Garba Shehu, require military clearance for movement, else promising youths stand the risk of losing their heads.
The NYSC body then has a responsibility to safeguard the lives of hundreds of thousands of graduates in its care.
Also, the spread of the novel coronavirus has not abated and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) continues to announce more positive cases on a daily basis. NYSC orientation camps, because of their congregate nature and attendant drills and routines, are not the best places to practise social and physical distancing.
Unsurprisingly, corps members have begun to test positive and could be a conduit for mass infection if care is not taken.
With the multi-pronged challenges plaguing the Nigerian state, the rationale of resuming orientation activities is one which should be given a deep thought.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.