NYSC Issues Controversial Security Advice to Corps Members: "Build Rapport with Abductors in Kidnapping Scenarios"

"Establish a personal relationship with your captors as early as possible"

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has sparked nationwide debate with its recently issued security advisory for corps members deployed across the country.

The document, titled "Security Awareness and Education Handbook for Corps Members," contains a jarring note in the event of kidnapping: establish personal relationships with captors.

The handbook advises corps members to "initiate and maintain friendly communication with abductors," emphasizing politeness and avoiding antagonism. "Do not antagonise your captors, be polite and operate with reasonable regards" This approach, it suggests, aims to de-escalate situations and potentially increase the chances of safe release.

While the NYSC's intentions to protect young graduates are undoubtedly sincere, the advice has met with widespread criticism. Concerns center around the ethical implications of suggesting cooperation with criminal activity, raising questions about victim blaming and normalization of abductions.

Critics argue that this approach could embolden kidnappers and put corps members at greater risk. Building rapport with captors might provide opportunities for manipulation or prolonged captivity, ultimately compromising the safety and well-being of victims.

Furthermore, the advice seems detached from addressing the root causes of kidnapping in Nigeria, namely the deteriorating security situation and socioeconomic challenges.

Instead of promoting passive coping mechanisms, critics urge the NYSC and relevant authorities to prioritize proactive measures and systemic solutions to combat kidnapping and ensure the security of all citizens, including vulnerable corps members.

The NYSC has yet to issue an official response to the public outcry. However, the controversial advice in the handbook highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive reevaluation of security strategies and increased focus on preventing kidnappings rather than adapting to them.

Furthermore, recall that earlier this month, the NYSC had appealed to the Federal Road Safety Corps, transport unions and other stakeholders in the transport sector to identify safe routes that can be used to convey corps members to their camps.

This story is still developing, and we will update it as more information becomes available. Hence, join our Channels to stay up to date on this matter. Cheers!

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