No fewer than 2,500 corps members participating in the ongoing orientation programme in Anambra State on Saturday held a protest march against the proposed scrapping of the scheme.
They also marched to show their solidarity for a united Nigeria.
The corps members, who marched around the parade ground from number one platoon to the 10th, showed the solidarity campaign by handing over the Unity Torch to the management of NYSC in the state.
Kehinde Aremu, Coordinator, NYSC in Anambra State, received the torch on behalf of the Director-General of the scheme, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim.
The corps members also carried placards and wore shirts, some of which read: NYSC Must Stay; Don’t Scrap NYSC; NYSC for Nigerian Unity; Leave NYSC Out of Politics; and NYSC is Our Heritage.
In his speech, Aremu said the Unity Parade was the first of its kind in the history of the scheme and was the brainchild of corps members in camp.
The Coordinator said the NYSC stood solidly for one, united and egalitarian Nigeria, because the people are better together under one nation.
He said: “All that we say as youths is that Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve and better Nigeria we deserve.
“All that we are here for is to send the message that we have all that it takes to make Nigeria great.”
On his part, Kolawale Oladapo, one of the corps members, said the rally was to stage their solidarity for the unity of Nigeria.
Oladapo said Nigerians had a lot to lose if the country disintegrated and called on all Nigerians to work towards its sustainability.
Maureen Onwuekwe, also a corps member, said she looked up to serving Nigeria as a corps member before she gained admission into the university, describing the scheme as a dream come true.
Onwuekwe said those proposing the scrapping of the NYSC are those who are no longer interested in the unity of Nigeria.
She added that the scheme remains the only opportunity for Nigerian youths to see the other side of the country and learn to live with them.
According to her: “It has been a wonderful experience, the principles we are taught here are truly relevant to our becoming better human beings and better Nigerians.
“NYSC is a legacy that should be sustained, it should not be scrapped, because we stand to lose a lot as a divided nation.”