Senate rejected a bill proposing the option of wearing of skirts female members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) yesterday sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba).
Senator Bwacha said…
It was part of the effort the Federal Government to rebuild, reconstruct and reconcile Nigerians following the unfortunate incidents of the civil war which ended in 1970. It is important to point out that while the scheme has lived up to expectation as a reliable platform for nurturing young patriotic Nigerians, fostering unity and promoting a better understanding of our religious and cultural differences, it has, however, become necessary to amend the Principal Act. This is with a view to address observed lapses and shortcomings. One of such lapses is that the penalty for offences contained in the Act is now outdated and in need of urgent review. Secondly, Section 16 of the Principal Act mandates the NYSC Directorate to make regulations or by-laws relating to discipline, exercise regimen, uniforms, welfare of corps etc. Uniforms and drills adopted the Directorate have become a basis for tension and controversy between the Directorate and corps members and other members of the public. The major bone of contention is that some of the uniforms and drills contravene religious beliefs and practices of corps members and invariably their right to freedom of religion, thought and conscience under the Nigerian Constitution. This bill essentially addresses the above mentioned lapses in the Principal Act.”
A voice vote was taken and the senators rejected the bill.
One of the senators, Senator Suleiman Adokwe also pointed out that,
The amendment being suggested is not even worth the trouble. This is because the powers to prescribe uniform is what the NYSC Act is to the Directorate. “I believe if the directorate wants to change the uniform at any time, it is a matter of deciding because it only has power to prescribe the type of uniform. The type of uniform is even not prescribed; so I don’t know why we should trouble ourselves; all you need to do is to put pressure on the directorate to change the uniform but not necessarily to change the law. All the religious organisations that are feeling oppressed it should put pressure and lobthe directorate to change its dress code.”