NDAYCA tracksuits for NDA corps members happen to be first of their kind and one of a kind, very unique, packard, stylish, and remained the sole initiative of Lieutenant Commander Bukar. There’s no doubt that strategies that Lieutenant Commander Bukar brought fought can’t be overlooked.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was created on 22 May 1973 after the Nigerian civil war as an avenue for the reconciliation, reconstruction, and rebuilding of the nation. It was established based on decree No. 24 which stated that the scheme was created “with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity”. The scheme tended to be a program set up by the Nigerian government during the military regime to involve Nigerian graduates in nation-building and the development of the country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps program for one year. This is known as the national service year. Ahmadu Ali served as the first Director-General of the NYSC until 1975.
There’s no doubt that after the civil war, the country faces a lot of tribal, religious, regional, and ethnic diversity and as such there was no unity. Hence, the scheme was one of the ways to bring back this lost unity and togetherness. Therefore, Corps members (participants in the National Youth Service Scheme) are posted to states other than their state of origin where they are expected to mix with people from different ethnic groups, and social and family backgrounds, and learn the culture of the indigenes in the location they are posted to. This indeed is geared towards bringing about unity in the country and helping the youths appreciate other ethnic groups.
After the posting of prospective corps members to states other than theirs for the process of cultural relativity and socialization, there’s approximately three weeks orientation period spent in a military-controlled “camp” away from family and friends. The camps are situated across the 36 states of the federation. There is also a “passing out ceremony” at the end of the three weeks orientation camp after which corp members are posted to their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). They are expected to work as full-time staff at their PPA with exception of one working day devoted to the execution of community development service popularly called CDS. After eleven months at their PPA, corp members are allowed one month of vacation before their final passing out ceremony where they would be issued certificates of completion of the scheme.
For a Nigerian graduate to be eligible to participate in the compulsory one-year service, he/she must be below or not above the age of 30 years upon graduation, or else he/she will be given a Certificate of Exemption, which is also equivalent to the NYSC Discharge Certificate. A graduate who graduated before 30 years but skipped the service year, will still be eligible since his certificate of graduation was dated before he clocked 30 years of age. There’s no doubt NYSC is compulsory in the sense that the graduates of the country can’t request an exemption by themselves unless they are disabled, have served in the military or paramilitary for more than one year, or are older than 30 when they graduated. Part-time graduates (CEP) are given exemptions since they’re not allowed to serve.
On the other hand, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established on 5th February 1964 in response to the defense needs of independent Nigeria to train officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Before then, the institution was known as the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC). After independence in 1960, it became known as the Nigerian Military Training College. The role of the Academy is to provide each officer cadet with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through military, academic, and character development. In essence, the NDA is an institution where selected young able-bodied men and women are groomed into well-educated, courageous, virile and erudite subalterns. Regimentation, discipline, endurance, and many more are the watchwords of the academy.
However, the academy in a bid to foster discipline, unity, cultural relativity and many more does request corps members from NYSC and these corps members are posted to the academy every year, stream by stream and batch by batch. Corps members posted to NDA as their Place of Primary Assignment has an association known as the Nigerian Defence Academy Youth Corpers Association with the acronym ( NDAYCA) which is responsible for the activities and welfare of the corps members. There’s the position of the Corpers Liaison Officer who liaises with the academy to make sure the welfare of corps members serving in NDA are met with the help of his other executives and with the permission of NDA DOA staff Officer 1&2 who are in charge of the welfares of all the corps members serving in the academy. The Association however was founded around 1997 or thereabouts with N. Geoge as the first CLO of the Association.
The association is geared towards solidarity, discipline, togetherness, oneness, and many more. The association thus host people from different walks of life, background, religion, tribe, and states and treat everybody as one. No differentiation and hatred among one another. Indeed, they’ve been various S01& S02 admins known as Nigerian Navy Commanders and Lieutenant Commanders and are officers of the Nigerian Navy who are in charge of corps members serving in NDA. They’ve been various ones such as Lieutenant Commander AK Gadzama, Abagyeh Caleb, and M.A Bukar and they’ve done their best in dispatching their duties. In understanding leadership, the ability, will, dexterity, focus, foresight, and futuristic- mindset can’t be overemphasized. The ability to carry everyone along and do justice is the key.
At the time Martin Luther King Jr asserted his ” I have a dream” speech in 1963, he indeed spoke of an America in which its citizens would not be judged or condemned because of their race or the color of their skin. He urged for every citizen to be judged” by the content of their character” I too, have a dream about NDAYCA being better under the auspices of Lieutenant Commander M.A Bukar. I’m optimistic and believe that with him, hard work, prayers, and many other leadership strategies, Nigerian Defence Academy Youth Corps Association will progress and reach the peak of excellence, and discipline will be in the continuum. Bukar happens to be innovative, listens, is free-minded, and is also ready to work. Yes, there’s no doubt that as humans we’re fallible and never perfect but our ability to be objective in our criticisms matters a lot. I know there were many S02 before Bukar, but he was amazing and exceptional. He has brought many developmental changes that are beneficial to the association and every corps member serving in NDA.
The dexterous Naval officer introduced the idea of a Commandant football/volleyball Novelty Match between NDA corps members and I Division Nigerian Army corps members which had the presence of the Commandant of Nigerian Defence Academy Major General I.M Yusuf and many others which brought about unity, cultural relativity and togetherness. The competition brought welfare from the Commandant to the corps members. The naval officer’s phone and WhatsApp are open for complaint and many other issues which he’s ready to listen to and rectify. He introduced NDAYCA magazine which is the first of its kind in NDA and the project is still ongoing and would be ready to be published, launched, and ready for public consumption.
In addendum, the simplicity and flexibility of the senior officer are an indication of good leadership prowess and style. A good leader is expected to be flexible and a little bit rigid. Too much rigidity is too many problems and the inability to listen to the poor masses. There are no parades that he doesn’t ensure that everyone is carried along. Obstacle crossing, cross country, beam heaving, campfire night which is a program in camp highland, shooting range, and many more. He ensured that corps members and officers are welcomed and taken care of properly. Complaints forwarded to him are taken care of amicably and without any iota of skepticism, and he ensured that he settled all complaints on his desk. Also, in terms of the Travel pass or so, he makes sure it was easy and flexible and everyone corps member serving in NDA will testify to that.
I recall that there was a time when some NDA corps members who missed the Academy Adjutant parade and were punished by issuing each of the offenders letters of redeployment to return to NYSC and search for another, we the then/present Executives of NDAYCA had to come on board to plead with the Lieutenant Commander to which after he decided to forgive them and reinstalled them back. No doubt that if not Bukar no one else. He’s diplomatic and forgiven despite being a senior Naval officer in Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. Though there were thriving propagandas and theories seeking to dent the image of the Lieutenant Commander and that of the one time Executives of NDAYCA which served during his administration, but since there was no evidence to justify to those claims, it was thrown out. NDAYCA moved forward while those behind the false claims went licking their wounds.
NDAYCA tracksuits for NDA corps members happen to be first of their kind and one of a kind, very unique, packard, stylish, and remained the sole initiative of Lieutenant Commander Bukar. There’s no doubt that strategies that Lieutenant Commander Bukar brought fought can’t be overlooked. The senior Naval officer is a wordsmith, a developmentalist, innovator, initiator, and even the Leonardo Da Vinci of NDAYCA. He was a mentor, father, and leader who carried everyone along irrespective of their tribe or religion and indeed we need more of him in bringing about development and if not Bukar then who?. Therefore, more capacity and inspirational sagacity to him.