Despite overwhelming evidence of advising travelling corps members to make ransom provisions, the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has made a u-turn and denied its own recommendations.
The NYSC had in page 56 of a handbook issued to corps members advised those travelling on “high-risk” roads to alert their “family members, friends and colleagues to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded” in case they are kidnapped.
The handbook is titled, ‘Security Awareness and Education Handbook For Corps Members and Staff’.
The Scheme listed such roads as “Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene, or Aba-Port Harcourt” roads.
But in a feigned rebuttal shared across its social media channels in the early hours of Friday, NYSC denied its own advice and claimed it never made such recommendations.
The management further appealed to the general populace to verify information before spreading it.
The statement reads, ”The attention of Management of the National Youth Service Corps has been drawn to a fake release making the rounds on the social media to the effect that Corps Members travelling on “high risk roads” should alert their families, friends and colleagues in order to have somebody to pay off the ransom that could be demanded in the event of being kidnapped.
“Management wishes to emphatically state that the clause quoted is not embedded in the NYSC Security Tips pamphlet which was put together by a highly respected retired security expert.
“Management wishes to appeal to the general public to always clarify issues with the Scheme.
“Please, be wary of falling prey to the antics of mischief makers out to ridicule the Scheme.
“Management shall continue to prioritise the security and welfare of Corps Members and staff at all times.”
Meanwhile, page 57 of the handbook further contradicted the statement of the NYSC as it tutored corps members on how to conduct themselves when kidnapped.
The section titled, ‘Advisory Action When Kidnapped Or Taken Hostage’ partly reads, “Do not antagonize your captors, be polite and operate with reasonable regards. Give reasonable cooperation to your abductors.
“Establish a personal relationship with your abductors as soon as possible.
“The kidnappers may ask for contact persons, do not mention your place of work, but your close friends and parents. They will reach them to negotiate for your release.
“Advise your friends involved in the negotiations, they should be friendly with the captors.
“Take no risk by attempting to escape. DO NOT BE A HERO.
“Make no statement to the media after your release without official clearance but share your experience with close associates.”