Some 2019 graduates of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Friday, blocked the main entrance of the institution in a demonstration against failure to mobilise them for the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) by the management.
The aggrieved graduates stormed the polytechnic as early as 8 am, alleging that the management was not doing anything to ensure they are mobilised for the next batch of the NYSC.
Amid the heavy presence of security agents, they sang solidarity songs to drive home their grievances and carried placards with various inscriptions, such as “All we are saying, we want to serve”, “Let us go, we are tired” and others.
According to them, the delay might not be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as other higher learning institutions had mobilised their colleagues for the exercise.
Speaking on behalf of other protesters, Adeniyi Marcus, who graduated from the Department of Microbiology in 2019, said: “We are not here to cause any havoc, we are only here to fight for our rights.
“We graduated since 2019, this is 2021, yet we have not been mobilised for NYSC.
“Our colleagues, who graduated at the same time in other schools, are done with the NYSC.
“The NYSC portal was opened on March 3, we thought our names were already there.
“We tried to register but they said we should visit our school. The school management should let us go. They should mobilise the available ones.”
Reacting, the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Adeoye Odedeji, assured the protesters that those who have fully documented themselves would be mobilised.
“Those who have fully documented themselves are being mobilised now.
“We have also made contacts with the NYSC that we should make available the list today so that those categories of students that have concluded their profiling will be mobilised. That’s the assurance.
“I want you to be assured for now that what you want is happening.
“We are interested in mobilising you. That’s why your results are ready. You know there was COVID-19. Everybody will be mobilised,” he said.