Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) co-opted as ad hoc staff for the 2019 elections have been left stranded, following the postponement hours before the scheduled presidential and National Assembly election.
Pictures of corps members sleeping on bare floors and in commercial buses have surfaced on social media since the postponement.
Nigerians on social media are raising funds to provide accommodation, security and feeding for them.
Woli Arole, a popular social media comedian, called on the stranded corps members to reach out to him for assistance.
He wrote on his Instagram page: “These are pictures of people that volunteered to be INEC officials today oooo. No accommodation, no security; many of them are CORPERS, and yet INEC postponed the ELECTION. Please what would these ones do when they get stranded? How would they feed? How would they transport themselves? This is so SAD. Abeg, if you are a CORPER or you are among any of these people and you are STRANDED, DM me quickly so I can support you in anyway I can. This is just SAD.”
The IG post was accompanied with pictures of a tight and overcrowded room, in a commercial bus, and on the bare floor in an open space.
The hasgtag, #corpersreachout2019, used by Nigerians to call attention on the corps members’ plight, has been trending on Twitter for a few hours.
Bankole Wellington, a musician and House of Assembly candidate contesting on the platform of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP), also called on Nigerians to “spare a thought” for corps members who are most affected by the development.
“While we are all frustrated, please spare a thought for people who are most affected by the postponement… like our corpers who had to spend the night in terrible sleeping conditions, people who had weddings or other milestone occasion planned, etc. May God help us all.”
Another Twitter user, @biolakazeem, claimed some corps members sleeping in an open field in Abuja almost got trampled by cows grazing on the field.
“Sitting with 3 youth corpers who slept on the grass outside INEC office, narrowly avoided being (sic) trampled to death at 3am by over 200 cows that were grazing nearby and approaching the field they were sleeping on. They were apoplectic that they will have to do this again next week”.
However, Segun Awosanya, convener of the #EndSARS movement and a human rights activist, called for the sack of the INEC official in charge of the NYSC members.
“I however must recommend that @inecnigeria relieves whosoever that is in charge of the youth corpers. The inhumane condition they had been subjected to is unforgivable. This must be addressed and corrected within the buffer period. This is unacceptable by all standards.”
He appealed to the corps members to see their plight as a sacrifice for the nation.
In a tweet thread, the social justice advocate, said: "I appeal in my personal capacity to all youth corpers to see this as one of the sacrifices made for our nationhood. You are all heroes and no one can take that from you… Let’s soldier on and in the end we will reap the benefits. INEC will make it up to you guys.”