The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Wednesday, called on Nigerians to be more supportive and sensitive to gender matters in the country.
The Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, made the call in Alkaleri Local Government Area (LGA) of Bauchi State, during the flagging off of the maiden edition of the corps’ Grass Roots Gender Sensitisation and Advocacy Campaign in rural communities.
Ibrahim, who stated that the sensitisation programme is taking place simultaneously in all the Northern states of the federation, explained that the programme is a well thought-out initiative of the ‘Reforms Unit’ of the NYSC.
Represented by Mr Paul Amoba, Assistant Director, NYSC North-East Area Office, Bauchi, Ibrahim added that the programme was implemented on the platform of the corps’ Gender Vanguards with the aim of exposing the ills of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
He stated further that the NYSC is one of the organizations fighting against GBV and inequality through the activities of the Corps’ Gender Vanguards.
“Today, we are here to emphasize that no individual, man, woman, boy or girl should be denied the opportunity to realize their potential.
“Thus, we are appealing to the conscience of community members, religious institutions, Local Government Administrators, Principals/Head Teachers of schools, Guidance and Counselling Officers, Corps Employers and parents to be more supportive, protective and sensitive to gender matters.
“I am pleased to state for the record that the NYSC is one of the foremost organisations fighting against Gender Based Violence and inequality through the activities of the Corps’ Gender Vanguards.
“The Vanguards, who have been equipped with the necessary skills, carry out awareness campaigns and support activities in our rural communities.
“Amongst other strides, they help in the formation of Gender Clubs in schools as well as provide linkages to victims of gender abuse through the GBV toll free line, 08031230651, provided by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs,” he said.
The D-G assured that the NYSC would continue to work with relevant stakeholders toward the success of gender mainstreaming in the country.
He, however, appealed to the general public to support the NYSC Gender Vanguards through the provision of an enabling environment for greater impact.
In his address, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulkadir, the Village Head of Alkaleri community, appreciated the NYSC for selecting the community as one of the beneficiary communities of the campaign.
Abdulkadir, who was represented by Alhaji Bala Shehu, a traditional title holder, promised that the community would give its maximum cooperation and support towards the development of the programme.
Also speaking, Mrs Dalaki Cynthia, Gender Desk Officer, NYSC, Bauchi, said that the campaign was also meant to advocate for support from all stakeholders to support the Sensitisation programme, saying it was important for all stakeholders to be able to stop all forms of abuse against children.
Some activities that graced the occasion included drama to discourage Gender Based Violence, money marriage as well as the display of placards to condemn GBV by students.