By Emmanuel Onwubiko
The news making round the popular social media platforms in Nigeria is that many girls posted for their National Youth Service Corps service year in 2023 have this distinctive moral infestation associated with the widespread use of sex toys otherwise called dildos.
Although the Spokesperson of the NYSC in the headquarters in Abuja has tried strenuously to deny the story especially regarding the extensive confiscation of many sex toys in the Kwara camp of the NYSC, but this social trend has a long history and tradition amongst corpers.
A year ago, a similar story trended in the Edo camp of the NYSC. The use of dildos has a long history amongst girls right from their school hostels. This is why it makes no sense for anyone to try to deny that there was any incident of confiscation of sex toys from girls entering the NYSC CAMPS.
Olabisi Deji, a journalist did a story around September 3, 2021, in which female undergraduates narrated why they like using dildos.
The reporter stated that the rise in the use of sex toys by people craving for sexual pleasure is no longer news in Nigeria as merchants have confirmed that the sector has been experiencing a surge in sales.
However, new findings have shown that some students of tertiary institutions in the country now have a preference for sex toys over men.
Students who spoke with our reporter cited a myriad of personal reasons why they would rather choose sex toys over men.
A student of one of the universities in Lagos, Aliyah Babatunde, said sex toys became her companion when she got tired of hearing cases of men sleeping with women and then killing them for ritual.
According to her, another reason is that she got tired of “use-and-dump” – local parlance describing a situation where men lose interest in women after having sex with them.
“In these days of ‘use-and-dump’ by men, as well as when girls are being killed and declared missing after sleeping with men, sex toy is the way,” Aliyah said.
Specifically asked whether she uses sex toys, she replied, “Yes. What’s the big deal? Are you looking for someone to arrest? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not against the law.”
Aliyah’s fears may be justified as in recent times, there have been cases of men killing ladies after having sex with them.
For instance, in July, policemen from the Edo State command arrested one Kingsley Adebanyo for allegedly having sex with a girl and killing her thereafter.
According to her, she was in the past left heartbroken by men who “dumped” her after having sex with her and does not want to experience another heartbreak again.
Joy said even though she was married and had a child, she walked out of the marriage because her husband was “a cheat and beater.”
As there are female students who now rely on sex toys in Nigerian institutions, so are their counterparts in other tertiary institutions across the world.
For instance, a 2013 study in the United Kingdom revealed that Cambridge University students searched for ‘sex toys’ online 3,872 times, with students of Leeds University following close at 3,711 visits.
Students at Manchester University were 18th in terms of visits, 3,218, but were however the fourth highest spenders on sex toys.
The study showed that the students splurged £11,266 (N6.4 million) a year on sex toys. Their Cambridge colleagues came second, spending £9,410 (N5.3 million).
To put that into perspective, that’s just £200 less than a year’s tuition fees, with some psychologists saying maybe it’s the pressure of being at a top-level institution that got the students reaching for vibrators.
Psychologist speaks on sex toy use
Professor Oni Fagbohungbe of the Department of Psychology at the University of Lagos attributed the high demand for sex objects by women as a response to the human instinct for survival and safety.
He said women going for sex toys might be doing so out of fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as the objects don’t cause infections.
Another factor, the don said, might be the cost of service, noting that the cost of keeping a sexual partner might be relatively expensive.
“The cost of transportation, hairdo, and clothes demanded by partners may be outrageous, while a one-off outright buying of a sex toy gives satisfaction,” Fagbohungbe said.
“Also, sometimes, partners tend not to be available for sexual activity due to distance, restrictions, or other reasons. But sex toys are available anywhere and at any time as people can carry them in their purses and bags,” he said.
Another factor the don cited is curiosity.
“Many are curious to find out the rate of satisfaction by sex toys compared to human organs; some people just want to know what it feels to use a sex toy,” he said.
However, in Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps denied reports making the rounds on social media that some female Corps members at the Orientation Camp, Yikpata, Kwara State were caught with vibrators.
The Scheme described the story as false, insisting that such an incident never happened.
A statement signed by Eddy Megwa, Director, Press and Public Relations of the Scheme made this known on Wednesday.
“I wish to state categorically that such moral decadence never happened at Yikpata camp, as this report is a reflection of the imagination of the writer just to attract media attention.”
The Service advised the general public to disregard the fake news in its entirety as tissues of lies, that are unfounded and unsubstantiated which could only emanate from hallucination.”
I think the NYSC has missed a very good opportunity to intervene in checking the growing appetite of a lot of girls towards the use of sex toys which I think has become menacingly worrisome.
The use of sex toy is not limited to girls in the Universities.
A serving male Senator from Adamawa State was in the news not long ago for slapping the attendant at a sex toys shop in Abuja.
This is not to say that if the story is fake that the NYSC should admit that it happened. But is this not an opportunity to show that discipline and moral rectitude matters so much in the NYSC? Does it mean only Angels go to the camps? There have been instances whereby used condoms littered some of these NYSC’S Camps.
It is left for parents to find ways and means of weeding their children of the social misbehaviour of reliance on sex toys. The essence of going to school is to get a good education and good skills.
Only qualitative education and problems solving skills are good enough for students and not the pursuit of the hedonistic lifestyle of use of dildos.
Then again, the need to upgrade the standards of facilities in the NYSC Camps cannot be over emphasized. The ownership pattern of these camps which obliges the States to build camps, has largely failed. States across Nigeria are not well managed in terms of good governance, transparency and accountability. The States in Nigeria are often run underground by lawless governors who ironically are aided in their impunity by section 308(1) of the 1999 Constitution which confers immunity from prosecution for even the crimes of corruption- the type that has made the building of NYSC camps possible for many of these badly managed states.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) last year raised the alarm over the dilapidated conditions of its orientation camp facilities across the country.
This is even as the Scheme noted that the NYSC Trust Fund would make the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) Programme of the scheme more impactful through provision of training facilities and start-up capital for corps entrepreneurs if passed into law.
Director-General of NYSC, Shuaibu Ibrahim, (as he then was) spoke in Abuja, during the 2022 NYSC yearly management conference, which held with the theme, ‘Repositioning the NYSC for Improved Healthcare Delivery, Revenue Generation and Corps Employment for Self-Reliance’.
Ibrahim noted that since its establishment in 1973, NYSC has continued to play vital roles in areas of national unity and integration, promotion of peaceful co-existence among people of different socio-cultural backgrounds and free movement of labour among others.
He added: “The contributions of the Scheme to national development, particularly in the areas of health, education, rural infrastructure, culture and tourism, sports, conduct of elections and job creation have attracted commendations from within and outside the country.
“Detailed documentation of these and other contributions have been made in nine books, which we published and unveiled to the public last year. The Scheme’s accomplishments are also being showcased through our in-house news magazine, print and electronic media and the newly established NYSC Museum/Archives.”
He, however, noted that despite the aforementioned achievements, the Scheme still faces some challenges, saying: “These arise mainly from non-discharge of statutory responsibilities by some critical stakeholders. Problems such as dilapidated Orientation Camp facilities, inadequate Corps Lodges and lack of befitting office accommodation are being contended within some states. Another area of concern has to do with the provision of start-up capital for corps members after acquisition of entrepreneurial skills.”
In his remarks, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Muhammad Musa Bello, who was represented by the Secretary of the Social Development Secretariat, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed, gave the assurance that the administration would partner with the Scheme towards the successful implementation of its lofty programmes.
Also, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ahmed Wada Ikaka, noted that the yearly conference was a forum where top managers of the NYSC meet to take stock of its activities with a view to mapping out strategies and programmes that would consolidate on the gains and tackle challenges identified for better operations.
The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, on recently expressed concerns over what it describes as poor condition of the scheme’s orientation camp in Niger.
Abdulwahab Alidat, the NYSC Coordinator in Niger, said this during the swearing-in of the 2023 Batch “A” Stream II corps members at the NYSC orientation camp in Paiko Local Government Area of the state.
She said that the poor state of the orientation camp had remained a great source of concern to all and called on the state government to places priority on the urgent development of the permanent orientation camp.
“This will enable us to have a befitting and environment conducive to carry out our activities,” she said.
A journalist recently listed the Borno State NYSC Orientation Camp as one of Nigeria’s Top 10 Worst NYSC Camps, owing to the state’s high level of security. In actuality, the camp is now being used as an Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camp and has yet to be opened.
Before then, the camp lacks basic amenities, the floors are bare grounds and can be very dusty.
Top 10 worst NYSC Orientation Camp in Nigeria Summary
Borno State NYSC Orientation Camp
Benue State NYSC Orientation Camp
Taraba State NYSC Orientation Camp
Kaduna State NYSC Orientation Camp
Yobe State NYSC Orientation Camp
Ekiti State NYSC Orientation Camp
Kebbi State NYSC Orientation Camp
Niger State NYSC Orientation Camp
Sokoto State NYSC Orientation Camp
Adamawa State NYSC Orientation Camp
Corpers frequently see orientation camp as the highlight of their NYSC experience, so I would urge you to have as much fun as possible while staying safe, the reporter wrote.
The sad thing about the NYSC as it prepares to celebrate half a century of its establishment, is the inconsistency in pursuing goals and initiatives. As soon as the DGs are moved away, new ones do not pursue goals previously put in place by even the most applauded DG such as Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim.
The previous hierarchy of NYSC spent a fortune chasing after the setting up of the NYSC Youths Trust Fund. But there is now no political will to legislate the Trust Fund to logical. It is just like a barber’s chair syndrome and this stiffle growth and inhibit goal attainment.
Bringing to logical conclusion, the setting up of the Trust Fund is imperative. This may offer the much needed breath of fresh air towards setting up functional facilities good enough to accommodate corpers in their orientation periods.
The unfortunate thing remains that the states are largely not in a sound footing to foot the required bills to set up functional camps in their states. The poor quality of camps is the reason calls have been made for the abolition of NYSC. And these calls aren’t going away. Also, the Federal Government is not robustly committed towards finding concrete solution to the deterioration of standards of facilities in NYSC Camps.
One wonders therefore, why the central government has successfully scuttled the move to set up the NYSC Trust Fund, but has continued to blame the non-performing states over their unwillingness to build twenty first century compliant camps for NYSC. Can the governors gove the good governance that they don’t have?
Few months ago, The Federal Government urged states and local governments, including other stakeholders in the country, to provide their statutory responsibilities for the National Youth Service Corps.
It said the non-performance of some stakeholders is adversely impeding the effective performance of the scheme.
The FCT Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, stated this in his address today while declaring open the 2022 NYSC National Governing Board Meeting with the 36 chairmen of the NYSC State Governing Boards, including FCT, held in Abuja.
He said NYSC is a strategic national institution that has continued to remain relevant by harnessing the potential of corps members for national development.
The Minister, who was represented by the Chairman, NYSC FCT Governing Board, and Mandate Secretary, Hajia Hadiza Muhammed Kabir, commended the performances of successive batches of corps members during national assignments like elections, immunization against polio, hepatitis, meningitis, population, and housing census among others.
He added the Federal Capital Territory Administration would continue to perform its statutory roles for NYSC.
“My administration has approved the construction of a new Permanent Orientation Camp in Kwali, while a new Secretariat Complex is also underway in pursuance of this administration’s determination to ease the operations of the Scheme in the FCT.
“I have also issued a directive against the prevalent challenge of Corps Members within the FCT so reduce the prevalent challenge of Corps rejection which is of a great challenge to the Management of the Scheme.
“May I reiterate that NYSC Scheme is the responsibility of governments at all levels and must not be in the care of only one,” the FCT Minister said.
Alhaji Bello stated further that one of the key responsibilities of all tiers of government is to ensure that youths are enabled with veritable platforms to contribute their quota to national development while also preparing them for future leadership roles.
He added that NYSC provides the platform and should therefore be supported by all concerned stakeholders to achieve its mandate. He urged participants at the meeting to evolve strategic ideas that will elicit improved stakeholders’ performance in discharging their constitutional roles to the Scheme.
In his goodwill message, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, whose address was read by Malam Jafar Musa, added that the contributions of the NYSC to national growth since inception, especially in the areas of health, agriculture, infrastructural development, education, national unity and among others cannot be over-emphasised.
Dare emphasized that the Scheme has been committed to advancing the socio-economic growth of the country through the establishment of developmental programmes like the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme, NYSC Ventures such as the rice producing factories, the NYSC bakeries, and water factories, the NYSC Printing Press and others through which the Scheme generates revenue to the Federal Government in line with its mandate.
“May l at this juncture call on Governments at all levels and other stakeholders to accord the Scheme all the needed support to ensure its success in all ramifications,” Dare added.
In her address, the NYSC National Governing Board Chairman, Ambassador Fatima Balla Abubakar said the meeting was organised to stimulate greater synergy between the NYSC National Governing Board and its counterparts at the States level for the advancement of the Scheme’s operations.
She hinted that the NYSC Scheme, in its almost fifty years of existence, has achieved a lot in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country but added that a lot has to be done to enable it fully accomplish its objectives.
“While some stakeholders such as the Federal Government and a number of States are functional in the discharge of their obligations to the Scheme, the performance of others leaves much to be desired as they abandon their statutory obligations to the Scheme as stipulated by the NYSC Act.
“We have witnessed negligence and lack of commitment in areas such as the provision of Permanent Orientation Camps, upgrade of facilities in Orientation Camps, the establishment of NYSC State Governing Boards and Local Government Committees, payment of state allowances to corps members, the release of statutory state subvention to state secretariats, provision of office accommodation for NYSC State Secretariats, provision of Corps Lodges among others which hamper the smooth conduct of our operations.
Our target is to sensitize and re-energize ourselves for improved performance as the Boards of the NYSC at all levels to ensure optimal achievement of the scheme’s mandate”, Balla said.
In 2016 the Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, Prof. Olurotimi Ajayi, said that the compulsory National Youth Service Corps scheme should not be scrapped.
Ajayi said in Lagos that the NYSC scheme was a national heritage and a symbol of Nigeria’s unity.
He spoke against the backdrop of the clamour by some people that the scheme should be scrapped.
The scheme was established in 1973 by then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war.
The scheme, set up by decree No. 24 of May 22, 1973, seeks the development of common ties among Nigerian youths and the promotion of national unity.
Ajayi said that the NYSC scheme should be protected and preserved, since its objective was the promotion of national unity among Nigerians, which it was fulfilling.
He said, “The NYSC scheme is fulfilling its mandate and nothing should hamper its operations; if anything, it must be guarded jealously.
“The scheme was set up to achieve a target of fostering unity among the ethnic tribes in Nigeria, which it has been performing to a large extent.
“I will not in any way support its scrapping because aside that of unity, it also helps the youths to visit other parts of the country.
The question to ask is, how can one justifiably advocate the continuous existence of NYSC, when the camps lack facilities?
We are not yet even talking about other important factors such as the growing insecurity. The earlier the strategic intervention of setting up the NYSC Youth Trust Fund is revisited and actualized, the better. This will douse the calls for the ending the 50 year old NYSC.
There is the urgency of the now, to improve the standards of facilities in NYSC Camps across board.
*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.