The National Youth Service Corps says Miss Damilola Ekundayo was ejected from orientation camp because she refused to wear the service kits including trousers.
Ekundayo was sent out of the Sagamu Orientation Camp penultimate Friday following her refusal to wear the prescribed NYSC kits.
The NYSC said Ekundayo’s action contravened the law regulating and prescribing the dress code for all members of the scheme.
Coordinator of NYSC in Ogun, Mrs. Theresa Anosike, said Ekundayo’s refusal to wear the kits, including the khaki trousers at the camp and her insistence on putting on only skirts for the compulsory one-year programme contradicted Section 3 subsection (h) of the scheme’s 2012 bye-laws.
Anosike, who addressed newsmen in Sagamu on Friday, however, stressed that due process was followed before the corps member was sent out of the orientation camp.
She added that like her other colleagues, the ejected corps member signed an undertaking on cultism and the dress code when she was admitted into the orientation camp.
She disclosed that Ekundayo was first reprimanded and brought before a panel before she was eventually ejected when she insisted that she would not wear the proper NYSC kits due to her religious beliefs.
The NYSC state coordinator said, “We had to decamp a corps member, Miss Ekundayo Tolulope Damilola, a graduate of Zoology from the Lagos State University who reported in this camp and registered on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. She was assigned the code number OG/13A/1344.
“On Friday 8th of March 2013, at about 7pm she was reprimanded by a camp official and was taken to the camp director’s office for refusing to wear the NYSC kit items contrary to the undertaking she had signed to abide by the NYSC dress code. We have copies of this here which we’ll give to you after this briefing.
“At about 9.00pm, she was brought to my office by the camp director with the report that she refused to wear the NYSC kit items. I was also told that she had been brought before a panel to find out why she wasn’t going to wear the kit items at about 7.00pm but she said she wasn’t going to wear those kit items because it was contrary to her faith.
“The camp director noted that since Ekundayo arrived in the camp, several camp officials had accosted her at different times but she refused to wear the kit items, claiming that she had a covenant with God and so there was nothing anybody could do. She insisted she was ready to forgo the service year rather than wear the kit items. The camp director said Miss Ekundayo’s utterances were a threat to peaceful coexistence on the camp and that that was why she was brought to my office.
“I immediately convened an urgent meeting with the resident officer one, representing the director general on the camp, the camp commandant and all other heads of security agencies on the camp. In their presence, I requested to know why she refused to wear the NYSC kit items and asked if she knew the consequences of her action. She claimed that there was no way she would go against her religious beliefs and that she would rather leave the camp quietly than be seen in any of the NYSC kit items.
She denied claims that the girl was thrown out of the camp at night.
“Contrary to their claim that we threw the girl out at night, we did not throw the girl out. She opted to leave the camp. As a matter of fact, once it is 6.00pm, and the flags come down, the corps members are not allowed to move out of the premises. So, we couldn’t have thrown her out.
“Secondly, we heard we sent the girl out at about 11.00pm, you can see from this undertaking that the man who came, one Apostle A.B Otaru of the Antioch Church, Sagamu who is also the PFN chairman in Remo came here, picked her up, did this undertaking and the time on this undertaking is 10.27pm and even after they left the security men were still at the gate to make sure that there was no problem.