The National Youth Service Corps, on Saturday, alleged that the reported story that 544 corps members were killed in the Northeast and Northwest in 2021 was nothing but junk journalism and blackmail by a section of the media.
In the report, the NYSC was also accused of risking the lives of 9,100 corps members deployed to the seven states in the North-West region; where at least, 189 persons have been killed and 376 persons were abducted in Zamfara and Kaduna states alone.
Reacting to two reports by a national daily ( not Vanguard), the Scheme said the medium was losing grip on “balanced reportage, which is the hallmark of good journalism.”
A statement signed by the NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi (Mrs), alleged that the unsubstantiated reports were published to create apprehension in the minds of parents, guardians and other stakeholders.
The statement reads in part, “No corps member deployed to the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones of the country was killed, neither was any abducted by bandits in July 2021, as reported.
“Management would have ignored these stories, but had to issue this rebuttal for the sake of undiscerning minds who may swallow the fake news, hook, line and sinker. Nonetheless, discerning minds know that they are a figment of the writer’s imagination, as nothing of such happened.
“However, it is imperative to restate that balanced reportage is the hallmark of good journalism. The integrity of information pushed into the public domain should never be in doubt.
“Management hereby passionately appeals to both the mainstream and new media, as opinion moulders and critical stakeholders in the polity to always place national interest above every other consideration in their reportage, as anything contrary has the propensity to create apprehension in the minds of parents, guardians and other stakeholders.
“The Scheme is always open to enquiries, in order to guard against feeding the public with inaccurate, or completely false information.
“NYSC shall continue to prioritise the security and welfare of Corps Members which is the cardinal policy thrust of the Scheme.
“The Scheme hereby reassures the general public that it will continue to work in concert with security agencies in order to ensure the safety of Corps Members across the nation.”