Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, says that as part of the country’s efforts to combat insecurity, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) should be allowed to undergo military training.
The governor who was a guest on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Wednesday, also said the scheme should be extended to two years with the first involving core military training.
NYSC which runs for a year was designed by the Nigerian government in 1973 to encourage nation-building among graduates.
But the governor believes that an extension of the duration would better equip graduates with self-defence techniques especially at a time like this when national insecurity is now rife.
“The NYSC I will say should be two years. One year for compulsory military training and the other year for the social works that they are doing now so that anybody who graduates as an NYSC person can know how to handle the gun and defend himself,” he said.
“Just as it is done in Israel, Lebanon, etc, you must engage your citizens to be proactive. When you cannot provide security, you must allow the people to protect themselves.”
The governor also reacted to the insurgency and banditry that have ravaged the northeast and northwest regions of the country, noting he has repeatedly asked security agencies who the sponsors of the criminal elements are.
When asked if the issue has political undertones, the governor replied in the affirmative.
Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade with thousands killed and hundreds of others displaced.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.