Open Memo to NYSC
This letter is written on behalf of the corp members that are being posted to Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State for the mandatory national service programme. It is the thought of the corp members who are there in Adekunle Ajasin University that the university makes special request for persons who have very good results from their respective institutions, and then instead of these individuals being utilized well in the university in the areas that are relevant to the course of their studies, they are being used as clerical workers_ typists_ in the different departments of the university.
There is the case of Barrister E. P. C., a law graduate from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, and one of the best graduating students in his graduation class. He is currently working in the Advancement Office of the University as a typist, with no access whatsoever to anything that is related to the law.
There is also the case of O. O. J., another lawyer who is there but working in the Personnel Department. He basically has no job description in the office setting. He just goes to work and then return back to the lodge every day.
It is to be noted that of all 8 (eight) lawyers there in the University, only one of them is in the law faculty. In other words, the lawyer who was posted to the law faculty is the only one there in the University among the lawyers serving there who is doing anything that is even remotely related to the law.
For the individuals that graduated from other disciplines of study, there was one_ first name is Oluwatobi, last name withheld_ who is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Osun State University. He was originally posted to the Health Centre of the school whereas there are graduates in the relevant who should be posted there to be in the healthcare system. It was only after he persistently hammered at the system to change him that he was finally sent away from the Health Center to the Pre-Degree Unit to work.
A poll was conducted to find out what the results of the corps members that were posted to Adekunle Ajasin were from their respective universities, and it was discovered that an overwhelming majority of the corp members there graduated with Second Class Honours (Upper Division), while a underwhelming minority graduated with a Second Class Honours (Lower Division). The school also has First Class graduates serving there too, and there are currently no less than 3 (three) first class graduates there from different esteemed institutions both in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
Sources also revealed_ though unofficially and unconfirmed by the staff of the University because they maintained a tight lip when asked about this_ that the University requests only for graduates with very good results to work in the institution. It is the thought of these select corpers that they are going there to be a part of the Academia and be part of the Academic specter of the University. However, when they now go to the PPA_ Adekunle Ajasin University_ they are grilled as to their computer knowledge, and those that admit to having upgraded Computer Appreciation skills are then sent off into departments that are in need of typists and that will be the job of these corpers throughout the duration of their stay there in the University as NYSC corpers doing their national service there.
As one of the corpers there lamented: ‘This institution is using our results against us. It is not a crime for a graduate to come out of the University with a 2-1 result. Imagine, one of my friends in the University’d managed to pass and had also gotten an ordinary pass in the Law School_ he is there in a big chamber in Port Harcourt going to the Federal High Court unattended by his principal while I am here wasting away here in this school doing nothing but typing work for them. It is so unfair.’
Another corper, Barrister A. K. U., who had gotten a Second Class Honours (Upper Division), both at the University level and also at the Law School, plus a resounding recognition at the Victoria Island, Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School as the overall best in the Property Law Snap Test of the campus in 2015, has similar complaints to make about the situation at the institution.
‘I go there to work every day and sometimes I get to type,’ he says. ‘At other times, I do nothing in the office except to read online legal journals and work on my blog. Others are there in the law firms doing their profession while I am here wasting my time and asking for the service year to finish so I can go and see what to do with my life.’
Imagine, that even though the University has a Legal Unit, not one lawyer was posted there to work. Instead, a young woman who had graduated from a University in Dubai, UAE, one Ms. Bashirat C., with a degree in Environmental Science, is the one that was posted to the Legal Unit to work there even though she had never handled a legal document throughout the entire duration of her life. All the lawyers in the University were left to wallow in other departments that have no correlation whatsoever with their discipline of study while someone who has sub-zero knowledge of the law is made to work in the legal department of the institution.
The corpers there are saying that if a full-fledged lawyer who has been called to the Nigerian Bar and has been enrolled in the roll at the Supreme Court is left to become a typist_ a glorified typist and errand boy who the small boss in the office can order around to go and purchase pure water and recharge card for him_ and some Environmental Scientist is left to sit in the Legal Unit doing nothing, then there is something wrong with the system.
It is their contention further, that the NYSC State Secretariat in Akure has no knowledge about this; that they are sending the University corpers who will be put into good academic use as research assistants and the like. That when the corpers now arrive, they’re being used as nothing other than typists, particularly the lawyers whose discipline is practice-based, not something to be kept in the bag for later visitation. It is to be noted that there are some corpers there who were posted to their areas of specialization, but they are few and far between.
They are appealing for something to be done about this, if not in their own batch, then at least for subsequent corp members to be deployed for service. It would be a waste for the corpers to go there and then end up doing nothing throughout the duration of their stay there in the University. It would amount to a waste of one full year, and this would be more acute for the lawyers there since they are the ones that are most affected by this particular scenario in the school since their course of study is fully practice-based, and, with the fact that there are almost always constant changes in the spectrum of the law, it would be detrimental to them to stay in a place where they would not have their minds massaged by the relevant legal principles of Law which they should have an intimate relationship with.
NYSC take note, and the school should also take note too as it is a gross injustice to these beautiful minds to have them wasting there and languishing there for nothing when they should be elsewhere doing what they studied in their professions.