The authorities of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) and the Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN) have agreed on modalities that would make the orientation course conducive for the 2016/17 Batch A Stream (II) prospective corps members who are Muslims.
The resolve became vital as the date scheduled for the orientation course falls during the Ramadan period.
The Director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had earlier today (Thursday) issued a statement rejecting the June 13 fixed date by the NYSC, saying that the date coincided with Muslim corps members’ Ramadan fast.
The statement read: “It is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for NYSC to hold camp at a time when its Muslim members will be deprived of their freedom of worship and the liberty to practice their creed without fear.”
“This planned camp is exclusive, discriminatory and parochial.”
“Any Nigerian institution dealing with schedules and programmes particularly the NYSC whose programmes are of such magnitude is expected to consider the dates and periods of important festivals, rituals and religious practices. This should form the core of its logistics. It is our humble opinion that NYSC headquarters has failed in its strategic planning by allowing its next camp to clash with the Ramadan period.”
“What happened to 21st May, 2016 which was the date earlier picked for the orientation? We do not want to believe that the shift was deliberately planned to coincide with the Ramadan season with a view to excluding prospective Muslim corpers.”
However, at a meeting between the MCAN executives and the management of the NYSC, the Director General, Brigadier General Suleiman Kazaure, said that the fixing of the orientation course during the Ramadan period was as a result of pressure from the would-be Corps members who argued that they had overstayed at home, The Eagle reports.
He also blamed the delayed disbursement of funds for the scheme as another reason the orientation course clashed with the Ramadan.
However, a statement by MCAN said the two teams have agreed on the modalities that would make it easy for Muslim Corps members to observe the Ramadan without too much hassles.
The statement on the outcome of the meeting read in part: “In fact, any muslim corps member who feels his fate cannot bear the camping environment as they are fasting should use the Masjid after they must have informed the MCAN Amir of their respective states.
“However, this has to be under a serious control system in order to prevent abuse of such opportunity.
“MCAN representatives who must have met with state coordinators will help in coming to a consensus with the state coordinator and camp commandant in regards to this.”
“Finally, inasmuch as the camping will be less demanding for those fasting and measures has been put in place to protect the spirituality of Muslims during this camp, WE PLEAD TO ALL MUSLIM CORPS MEMBERS NOT TO ABUSE THE PRIVILEGE and report anyone who might take advantage of such privilege to the right authorities.”