Restoring The Lost Glory Of NYSC In Abia State

Restoring The Lost Glory Of NYSC In Abia State

11th June 2024, NewsOrient
Opinion, Column, News
By Emeka Nwosu, PhD.

Abia State, under the superintendence of Governor Alex Chioma Otti, has continued to be in the news for good reasons. It has been a clean break from the inglorious past when the State was the butt of puerile jokes in the public space. Coming out from the recent celebrations marking his inspiring one year in office as the Chief helmsman of the once beleaguered State, Governor Otti has continued to sustain his commitment to the agenda of building the New Abia of our dream. No stone is being left unturned to reposition the State for greatness.

So much has been said about the infrastructural revolution that is going on simultaneously in the major cities of Aba and Umuahia, and also in remote parts of the State. It is heartwarming to note that the Governor is ensuring, as a matter of deliberate policy, that no part of Abia is left behind. He has been very equitable and even-handed in the way and manner development projects are spread across the three senatorial zones of the State.

This has earned the Governor enough support, trust and confidence of the good people of Abia State who see him as the game changer in the development matrix of the once misgoverned State. With the grit and drive Governor Otti has shown since he mounted the political saddle in the State, no meaningful Abian is in doubt about the unfolding reality of the New Abia where things work.

In his holistic approach to the socio-economic development of the State, Dr. Otti is taking his vision of New Abia to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Umunnato, Bende Local Government Area (LGA) of the State. He has taken a profound step to ensure that the camp is made comfortable for corpers, NYSC officials and other categories of personnel who function in the place.

The Governor has directed the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Nwobilor Ananaba, to immediately undertake a comprehensive assessment of the state of facilities in the camp, with a view to fixing all broken and dilapidated structures in the area. Dr. Otti gave the directive when the State Coordinator of NYSC, Barr. Mrs. Gladys Adama, paid him a courtesy call over the weekend.

The NYSC State Coordinator had earlier in her presentation painted an ugly picture of what the NYSC Camp has become in terms of dilapidated infrastructure, arising from many years of criminal neglect by successive administrations in the State. The affected structures include the perimeter fence which is said to have collapsed, thereby breaching the security of corps members and making them vulnerable to possible attack by criminal elements.

The residence of the State Coordinator is also reported to be in a very bad shape with cracked walls and leaking roofs, thus making it unsafe for habitation. The camp, with a capacity for five thousand corps members, also has accommodation problem.

The Governor who expressed shock at the level of deterioration and decay of facilities in the camp, gave a firm assurance to bring the place back to life. He stated as follows:
“I have taken note of all the points you raised, including the well-being of the five thousand youth corps members, office accommodation, the challenge of fencing the camp, ambulance, the Coordinator`s residence, and, of course, payment of allowance by the State.
“We are going to look at them.”

It is against this background, that the Governor promptly directed his Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development to immediately proceed to Umunnato to carry out an on-the-spot evaluation of the condition of the camp and come up with a plan on fixing the problems. This is a pragmatic approach to governance which is deserving of commendation.

It will be recalled that the original NYSC Camp in Abia was located at Nsulu Games Village in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, very close to Umuahia, the Abia State capital. But for inexplicable reasons, the former Governor of the State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu relocated the camp to Umunnato, close to Igbere, his village.

The popular Nsulu Games Village, which was a major training hub for sports men and women when were still part of the old Imo State was, thereafter, left to rot.
All the succeeding PDP-controlled administrations did little or nothing to revive the Games Village. The fate of the Nsulu centre was finally sealed with the relocation of the NYSC Camp to Bende LGA.

As Governor Otti is seeking to restore the glory of the NYSC Camp in Abia, he must not lose sight of the present plight of Nsulu Games Village. While it may not be politically expedient or advisable to relocate the NYSC Camp from Umunnato back to Nsulu, Governor Otti should consider Nsulu Games Village for the siting of a mega project in the area of sports and citizenship training.
This will certainly be in accord with the Governor`s vision of building the New Abia that works for all.

Dr. Nwosu, a Fellow of the International Institute of Leadership and Governance (FIILG), writes from Umuahia.

~ NewsOrient