Shuaibu Ibrahim, director-general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), has expressed concern over the recent controversy on the dress code for corps members.
Ngozi Ukwuoma, NYSC spokesperson in Enugu, had on Saturday disclosed how two corps members were dismissed from the state’s orientation camp for wearing skirts instead of the trousers given to them by the scheme.
Ukwuoma said when they were queried for not putting on the stipulated dressing code, they stated that such was “against their faith.”
In a statement issued on Monday by Adenike Adeyemi, NYSC’s director of press and public relations, Ibrahim urged corps members to always adhere to the dress code.
“The DG notes with great concern the negative perception of the scheme’s dress code, arising mostly from some corps members’ disobedience to the dictates of the code,” he said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the scheme has maintained one dress code since May 22, 1973 when it was established, devoid of ethnic, religious or gender bias.
“The code remains a pair of khaki trousers and shirt; crested vest; white vest; a pair of white shorts; a pair of zebra-striped socks; a pair of jungle boots; a pair of canvas; belt and fez cap.
“This depends on camp activity at any point in any time.”
Ibrahim said that the national NYSC camp, predicated on discipline and decency, is a training ground for corps members.
“Any other dress code contrary to the officially-sanctioned one will not promote the course of decency,” he stated.
According to him, it will be reprehensible for a female corps member to embark on obstacle crossing and other physical training activities on camp, including parade, in skirt or gown.
“Those will expose her indecently, thus, leaving little or nothing to imagination,” he said.
“The management observed with dismay the defacing of the NYSC uniform by some corps members by reshaping their khaki trousers, making them skin-tight, which unduly expose their curvatures, particularly the female corps members.
“Some others, in the name of religion, turn the pair of trousers issued to them into skirts.
“The scheme, therefore, considers the unwholesome act as an affront to decency on one hand and constituted authority on the other.
“It was for that reason that the scheme came up with the policy of having prospective corps members sign undertaking forms to the effect that they will not deface the NYSC uniform, but abide by the dress code for corps members.”
The NYSC director-general clarified that organisation did not issue hijab as part of its dress code.
“Rather, the scheme permits the use of white hijab, which must not be more than shoulder length and must be tucked into the uniform,” he said.
“The policy of allowing hijab, which does not deface the NYSC uniform, is not new, as it has been there.
“The NYSC wishes to assure Nigerians and place on record that it will continue to be single-minded in pursuit of its core mandate of achieving a united, integrated, egalitarian and hate-free nation.
“It shall never do anything untoward to undermine or abridge gratuitously the rights of individuals or institutions based on parochial considerations.”
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