The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has insisted that it is not ready to bow to any pressure to compromise the scheme’s dress code for corps members, emphasising that it is devoid of ethnic, religious or gender bias.
Director-General of the scheme, Brig Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, in a statement issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, noted with regrets the negative perception of the dress code.
Frowning at how some corps members, especially females, reshape their khaki trousers, making them skin-tight which unduly exposes their curvatures, the management of the scheme, warned that it will not tolerate any amendment to the dress code.
“The NYSC DG notes with great concern the negative perception of the scheme’s dress code, arising mostly from some corps members’ disobedience to the dictates of the code.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the scheme has maintained one dress code since May 22, 1973 it was established, devoid of ethnic, religious or gender bias.
“The dress code remains, depending on the activity: a pair of khaki trousers and shirt, crested vest, white vest, a pair of white shorts, a pair of zebra – stripped socks, a pair of jungle boots, a pair of canvas, belt and fez cap.
“It is imperative to state that the National Youth Service Corps camp, predicated on discipline and decency, is a training ground for corps members. Any other dress code, contrary to the officially sanctioned one will not promote the course of decency.
“For instance, it will be utterly reprehensible for a female corps member to embark on obstacle crossing, and so many other physical training activities on camp, including parade in skirt or gown, which obviously will expose her indecently, thus, leaving little or nothing to imagination.
“The management observed with dismay the defacing of the NYSC uniform by some corps members by reshaping their khaki trousers, making them skin – tight which unduly exposes their curvatures, particularly the female corps members. Some others in the name of religion turn the pair of trousers issued to them into skirt.
“The scheme therefore considers the unwholesome act an affront to decency on one hand, as well as constituted authority on the other. It was for that reason that the scheme came up with the policy of having prospective corps members sign an undertaking form to the effect that they will not deface the NYSC uniform, but abide by the dress code of the corps.
“It is apt to state that NYSC does not issue hijab as part of the dress code. Rather, the scheme permits the use of white hijab which must not be more than shoulder length and must be tucked into the uniform. The policy of allowing hijab which does not deface the NYSC uniform is not new as it has been there,” the statement read.
Reacting further to the issue, the management noted: “The National Youth Service Corps wishes to assure Nigerians and place on record that it will continue to be single-minded in pursuit of its core mandate of achieving a united, integrated, egalitarian and hate-free nation.
“It shall never do anything untoward to undermine or abridge gratuitously the rights of individuals or institutions based on parochial considerations,” the management noted.