Lafia — Members of the 2012 Batch A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Nasarawa State, yesterday, disrupted their passing out parade, protesting the non-payment of stipends by Nasarawa State government.
The corps members converged on the Lafia-Akwanga road in front of the College of Agriculture, where their passing out parade was to take place, and obstructed traffic. The youths who were carrying leaves barricaded the major highway and defied the presence of truckloads of armed policemen. It took the intervention of the state's deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, to bring the situation under control.
The protesting youths told newsmen that they were being owed stipend of between six and 12 months, and that they will not leave the state without their allowances.
"The protest is our last resort. We complained between Monday and Tuesday, and we were told our problem would be addressed before our passing out. We were surprised that NYSC coordinator and the state government went ahead to organize our passing out without first addressing our problem as promised", one of the youths said.
The state deputy governor, who was accompanied by the state NYSC coordinator, Mr. Stephen Akin Alabi, appealed to the corps members to bear with the government, saying the development was due to inadequate data collection. He said the state government only knew that corps members were being owed on Wednesday. He said a committee has been set up to pay them.