The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has warned corps members against promoting hate speech and fake news because of their destructive effect on the society.
He also advised them to be vanguards of the change mantra “Change Begins with Me”.
The minister said this in Abuja on Thursday while addressing corps members sworn-in for the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Stream II service year at the National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp, Kubwa.
Bello was represented by Oladimeji Hassan, Secretary, Social Development and Chairman, NYSC FCT Governing Board.
The minister urged the newly sworn-in corps members to complement Federal Government’s efforts by consistently carrying messages of oneness, solidarity and indivisibility of the nation.
He also urged corps members nationwide not to flout government’s directive banning the promotion, advertisement and sale of tobacco products in all orientation camps and public spaces.
Bello said that anyone caught flouting the directive would be made to face severe sanctions and urged the corps members to ensure their acts and deeds fell within the ambit of the law.
He charged the corps members to be disciplined and be ready to make sacrifices as the task ahead of them was quite enormous.
Bello advised them to reject and denounce all forms of social vices which had been identified as the most critical impediment of the nation’s development process.
He said: “I must warn you against hate speech and fake news. You must strive towards complementing government efforts by consistently carrying messages of oneness, solidarity and indivisibility of our great nation, Nigeria.
“Let me reiterate the extant ban on promotion and advertisement on all tobacco products in all the stadia and NYSC orientation camps nationwide by the Federal Government.
“You must not flout this directive throughout your service year in the FCT and beyond as the reverse could carry grievous consequences.
“Few weeks ago, the Federal Capital Territory Administration honoured 72 corps members who distinguished themselves during their service year in the territory.
“I urge you to aim towards this recognition and honour by provoking your creativity towards innovative projects that will stand you out at the end of the service year.”
The minister said that plans were underway to introduce an All-inclusive Talent Hunt in the territory to unravel the creative and innovative works of corps members.
He said that the project was part of a collective drive towards youth development and empowerment amid socio-economic development of the FCT and the nation.
Bello said that the federal government was determined to arouse the confidence of youths at all times particularly by utilising their energies and forces in a bid to improve technology in line with global best practices.
The minister said the criterion for selection would be tailored alongside the NYSC model.
He urged the corps members to take advantage of the skills acquisition initiative provided by the NYSC to equip themselves for the task of nation building.
Besides, Bello urged them to see the skills training as key to self-reliance and sustainability in this time of acute shortage of white-collar jobs.
The Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, administered the oath of service on 2,261 corps members for the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Stream II service year in the FCT.
Justice Bello was represented by Justice Muawiyah Idris at the occasion.
On his part, Bello Ballama, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, said the orientation course would last for three weeks after which corps members would be posted to organisations in the public and private sectors for primary assignment.