NYSC Slaves

NYSC Slaves

The Nigerian youth is a creature of woes

Left all the time on his own

To contend with all manners of foes

And live a life of little fun


Day and Night he struggles to fend

And the socio-economic structures to tame

His cause, no one cares to defend

Yet he is expected to project the national fame


While studying in school

Who will save him from the strike

He is considered a fool

For people to exploit and spite


I talk as if

Everyone qualified can get admission

But far from it

For others, it is a long-life mission


Thier only criminal offence

Is to allow themselves be born

In a country of callous sense

Where maximum deprivation must be borne


The lecture halls are over-crowded

And where there is talk of scholarship

It is in controversy, shrouded

Who cares for shepherdless sheep


Officials who won’t fund education today

Studied in government schols and paid no tuition

They are hypocrites sustaining the decay

Because of a very selfish intention


The school fee in my state

Is ten times the government’s annual grants

Yet there are facilities of no good taste

I think government is just playing pranks


The Nigerian government

Is making budgets, busy

That is very paramount

And do you think it is easy


Why should it bother

When it doesn’t need their vote

Or about them, ponder

Who can’t a line of the law, quote


Yet when they graduate

They must go to NYSC and serve

A scheme that does fluctuate

And ties down others as an endless reserve


In the 2011 elections

These youth got posted on electoral duty

Where the losers gave directions

For them to be murdered as if guilty


In one such madness

They were butchered, ten corps members

An unrestrained expression of badness

That continues to fan hatred embers


The murder mob was bold

And overwhelmed the police

The Bauchi violence soared

While government officials went to vote with their colleagues


Seven of the corps members were killed

Right in a police station

And with their blood, the scene was filled

Mocking at Nigeria as a nation


The government did not lose

Because it paid nothing for their education

But the families that paid had no right to choose

Where their sons could serve the nation


So an unfortunate percent

Was mobilized adn deployed

To places: many persons

Where government was warned security had deplored


There, many of them died

In the service of a nation that didn’t care

How alone in school, they had toiled

And how in its service, they did fare


Instead, politicians talked

About patriotism in tones so beautiful

Obviously because their sons hadn’t been caught

In the carelessness so pitiful


The thing that so deeply hurts

Is the hypocrisy in the government’s conduct

Such poor leadership halts

The NYSC’s agenda of national contact


Rather than become the hope

Of fresh graduates to promote national peace

It has become an ordeal with which they must cope

And pray to return home in one piece


Once, there was joy

In the scheme when it hadn’t been abused

Then in school, government shared in their toil

And of its use, no one was confused


Now, government must not sit and wait

For its young ones to suffer and come

To the NYSC which is becoming a bait

That snatches them away from home


It must actively participate

In their training and welfare

Then we can begin to anticipate

When the scheme will cease to be a warfare

14 thoughts on “NYSC Slaves” by Anzaa Msonter (@sontel)

  1. To me this is a dirge.A lamentation of the goings-on in our pyscho-existence in a nation where the citizens are not treated like beings.God have mercy.
    A few typo though( Was mobilized adn deployed), this is a good work.

    1. Thank you @sambrightomo. The poem attempts to capture the hypocrisy that has become a leadership symbol in Nigeria. The Government of Nigeria does not recognise “youths” while they are in school. It is when they suffer and graduate that they must go and “serve” their “fatherland”. But could the “fatherland” not have fathered them while they were in school?

  2. The elders doomed us all. The youths are just a tool in this nation of ours. In as much the tools are always at the recieving end, it has the tendency of inflicting the same amount of pain on the wielder. That is the only way out. Nice piece by the way.

    1. You know, @francis, we have a problem. Too many Nigerian youth are slaves. They are too afraid of everything. How can I allow a government that has not invested in me in anyway to impose compulsory “national service” on me? It will not happen! And more painfully, you go to “serve” this “fatherland” and it deploys you in a strange land and abandons you there to die. Would the government do that if it knew the pain of training someone in school? It’s nonsense, and until the FG reforms the scheme to reflect the true spirit of patriotism and national responsibility, I will continue to consider the NYSC an exploitation.

  3. Nice one…A dirge for those poor souls…Government needs to change the policy about NYSC…Well done…$ß

    1. @sibbylwhyte. Government does not need to “change” the “policy” about NYSC; government needs to implement the NYSC policy as it is today, with its spirit. The NYSC was not conceived as a tool for government to enslave its young ones – threatening to make them unemployable if they don’t have an NYSC Cerfificate. At the time of its inception, the FG, having invested in training its young ones, posted them out to other regions of the country to make them interact and understand and learn to appreciate the cultures of other components of the nation. In the process, they served those communities where they were posted. This was understandable because the federal government could legitimately demand their services since it had invested in their training. Today, an arrogant Federal Government sits in Aso Rock and waits for you to graduate and come. It does not know, and doesn’t care how you survived the experience. If you did not survive it and died along the way, the FG would not even have noticed! This is not called “national service”, it is called EXPLOITATION.

  4. Leekwid (@myself)

    Nice piece of dirge. Truly it did captured, vividly so, the hypocrisies and ‘hunting with the hounds and running with the hares’ tendencies of those we have ‘selected’ to rule over our states institution. Few typos noticed. All in all, a nice piece with rhythms that sound melodious to the ears.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad the government’s hypocrisy is well noted. It is however, not limited to the NYSC alone. It’s all over every sector with government presence and it stings like a threatened wasp.

  5. Since that idea with which the scheme was built on, now causes problem..When I said they should change it, I meant that every body should go to their own place of choice jare, instead of going to where they would kill one…Take for instance, those corpers they killed. It would have been their tribesmen and perhaps the deaths wouldnt have occured..
    Me ah no go wan go north if i reach dat level o…hehe..

    1. It all stops at the Federal Government’s table. Why would you post your “leaders of tomorrow” to a place that is not adequately secured? Well, you might as well ask me where in Nigeria today is secure?

      But the idea of the NYSC was actually to promote national integration among youths. It will not have any use if these guys are posted in the villages where they have spent all their lives.

      What we need is strong will on the part of the federal government to make the scheme work. But as it is the case with every Nigerian “thing”, this too is not working.

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