The National Youth Service Corps has said that it prevented female corps members from wearing skirts in orientation camps to avoid indecency during training and other activities.
The NYSC noted that its dress code since May 1973 had been maintained and not tied to “ethnic, religious or gender bias.”
The scheme explained that it was inappropriate for female corps members to embark on obstacle crossing, and other training activities on camp wearing skirts as this will “obviously expose her indecently, thus, leaving little or nothing to the imagination.”
The NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, stated these in a statement on Monday, adding that the NYSC Director-General, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, was worried about some corps members’ disobedience to the dress code.
Two female corps members in the 2019 Batch C Stream 1 in Ebonyi State camp were expelled after they were caught wearing their official white T-shirt on white skirts instead of white shorts.
The two females, identified as Okafor Obianuju and Odji Oritsetsolaye, had reportedly said they could not wear the shorts because it was against their faith to do so.
NYSC said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the scheme has maintained one dress code since May 22, 1973, when it was established, devoid of ethnic, religious or gender bias. The dress code remains, depending on the activity; a pair of khaki trousers and shirt; crested vest; white vest; a pair of white shorts; a pair of zebra-stripped socks; a pair of jungle boots; a pair of canvas; belt and fez cap.
“It is imperative to state that the NYSC, predicated on discipline and decency, is a training ground for corps members. Any other dress code, contrary to the officially sanctioned one will not promote the course of decency.
“It is apt to state that the NYSC does not issue hijab as part of the dress code. Rather, the scheme permits the use of white hijab which must not be more than shoulder length and must be tucked into the uniform. The policy of allowing hijab which does not deface the NYSC uniform is not new.”