President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the release of N5 million monetary compensation to each of the 10 families of the members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who lost their lives during the post-election crisis in some states in the northern part of the country.

The president made the announcement when he met yesterday with families of deceased NYSC members that served as adhoc staff to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) during the presidential polls in Bauchi.
The 10 corps members are Adewumi Paul (Ekiti), Okeoma Okechukwu Chibudom (Imo), Ukazeone Amsalem Chukwunonyere (Imo), Olawale Tosin (Kogi), Akonye Ibrahim Sule (Kogi), Gbejo Ebenizar Ayotunde (Osun), Adeniyi Kehinde Jelil (Osun), Anyanwu Agnes (Imo), Okpokori Obina (Imo) and Adohe Elliot who left behind his wife and four kids (Bayelsa).

Besides, Jonathan also approved that each of the families which has an unemployed graduate who is a direct sibling of the deceased should forward the names to the Director-General, NYSC, Major General Ismaila Tsiga, for processing for automatic employment in the Federal Civil Service.
For those who suffered varying degrees of injuries, President Jonathan said in addition to his earlier directive that the state governments take charge of their medical bills, he announced automatic employment on completion of their national service by the Federal Government.

The president who restated in strong terms that his administration had resolved to ensure that all those who might have been directly or indirectly responsible for the national tragedy faced the full weight of the law. Adding that the culture of impunity must stop in the country, he said, “I want to assure you that those found culpable will be brought to justice.”

Jonathan said these gestures were not meant to compensate for the lives lost or for disabilities suffered. “They are our way of demonstrating the nation’s appreciation for the great sacrifice, which these young patriots have made in the national cause.
“As we mourn our fallen young brothers and sisters, I pray that Almighty God imbues us all with the requisite wisdom and understanding to be driven at all times by the values of loyalty, courage, dedication and faith in a strong, prosperous and united Nigeria, which is the essence of the NYSC scheme.

“I appreciate the fact that no amount of recognition can adequately compensate for the deep void that their passing has created in your individual families. However, in demonstration of our gratitude for the supreme sacrifice they have paid in the service of Nigeria, I have decided that each of the 10 families of these gallant young men and women will receive a token monetary compensation of N5 million.”

President Jonathan said he had invited the bereaved families to directly express the depth of his sadness at the unfortunate loss of their children, wards and relations on national youth service as a result of the unfortunate violence, which erupted in parts of the country following the last elections.
“My heart and indeed, the hearts of all Nigerians, go out to you all as you reconcile yourselves to the reality of the shock and the pain of losing vibrant young men and women of great promise and hopes of a fulfilling future ahead of them. We all share in your grief.
“This tragedy is even more sobering, considering that they died carrying out a national assignment that has served to effectively consolidate our democratic process. The success of the 2011 elections and the wide international acclaim which the exercise has received was due in large part to the uncommon patriotism and diligence exhibited by the members of the NYSC.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, your sons and daughters may be gone but they have not died in vain. You can take some solace in the fact that they are today national heroes of whom every patriotic Nigerian is immensely proud. Our administration holds them in the highest esteem and we are determined to ensure that their names are permanently immortalised as an enduring source of inspiration to us all.”
“At this point in time, we must all ponder the tragic loss of these young Nigerians and resolve to honour their memory by rededicating ourselves to engendering Nigeria’s continued peace, unity, stability, growth and development.
“We must eschew any and all divisive tendencies and focus instead on emphasising the strength of our diversity and the renowned resilience and creativity that mark us apart as a uniquely gifted people.”
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved families, Awuchewu Okpokiri, while thanking the president for the gesture, said no amount of compensation could bring their loved ones back.

He observed that communication in the last violence was nothing to write home about, adding that most of the families did not know about the death of their dear ones until about a week after.
“I don’t think that is very good because I feel that when this kind of thing happens and we approach the authorities we should have been told of what had happened, at least, the heads of the families, but this was not so.
A lot of us did not know about the death of these children until April 24 for something that happened on the 18th.
“We also want to ask, just like every other Nigerian is saying today, that the NYSC scheme should be reviewed in all its ramifications. Mr. President, we thank you for mentioning about compensation to us the bereaved families but we want to say that no compensation can be meaningful until the perpetrators of this heinous act are brought to book.

“Mr. President, we also observed that a lot of the police stations in most of these areas are nothing to write home about and that means that security for our people, our common man in the area is not there. And that means anything can happen at any time.
“Mr. President, we want to thank you for all your concern and love for us and we pray and believe that whatever sacrifice these our children have done will be the last sacrifice for the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria and for the unification of Nigeria.”