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Senate Rejects Bill To Modify NYSC Uniform To Suit Religious Beliefs



A bill seeking to amend the National Youth Service Corps Act to allow corps members modify the NYSC uniform in order to accommodate their religious belief, has been struck out by the Senate, Punch reports.

Corps members would have been allowed to wear skirts or hijabs, among others, if the bill had been passed.

Oasis magazine gathers that while leading the debate for the second reading at the plenary on Wednesday, March 7, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba South), said the proposed amendment sought to amend sections 13 and 16 of the principal Act.

According to Bwacha, the amendment was to “ensure that regulations made by the NYSC directorate prescribing uniforms and exercise regimen do not violate the religious practices and beliefs of corps members.”

The senator proposed that that a new Subsection 3 be inserted to Section 16 of the NYSC Act, which would read thus: “In exercising its powers under Subsection 2(a) and (b) of this section, the directorate shall take into consideration the need to prescribe or adopt uniforms and exercise regimen or drills that do not violate the religious practices relating to modest dressing; and accordingly, specify alternative uniforms and exercise regimen that conform to the religious dictates and conscience of corps members as recognised by the 1999 Constitution.”

Bwacha’s proposed amendment was faulted by several of his colleagues who faulted its intention.

Meanwhile, previously reported that Rita Agbedeyi, an ex-corps member, took the NYSC and the attorney general of the federation to the Federal High Court for an alleged breach of her fundamental human right to wear a skirt.

Agbedeyi stated that as a devoted Christian, she did not feel comfortable wearing the NYSC uniform trousers.

She said: “Some Christian women strongly believe in Deut 22:5 saying: ‘The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.’ It is, therefore, our prayer for such women to be allowed to wear skirts.”


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