A former Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier General Maharazu Ismaila Tsiga has described the killing of corps members, who participated in the 2011 general elections as ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the ‘worst moment’ in his life which he would live to remember.
According to him, “My worst moment was at the peak of my career; during my time as the DG of the NYSC. It was a moment in my life which I will never forget.
“That period, many young and vibrant youths who held high hopes for this nation, and were serving the nation in joy and fulfillment, were gruesomely murdered while working as adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during elections.
“The attack and, in some cases, cold-blooded murder of some corps members during the 2011 election was the worst moment of my career. It is one moment I will never forget in a hurry, one in which promising youths giving selfless service were innocently attacked and murdered,” he stated.
Speaking in his home town of Tsiga, Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State, the former NYSC DG recalled his time as a junior officer as his best moment while serving in the military because according to him, it was the beginning of his commitment to offer the best to the Nigerian Army and the nation as a whole.
His words, “I learnt a lot and was drafted into different positions that helped me contribute, in my own little way, to the general success of the Nigerian Army. I recall very well, sometime in 1985, as a captain, when I worked with General Akinlaba in repositioning Kwara State. We mapped out strategies for the state to grow and saw to it that so many things were put to in place to ensure the growth of the state”.
On the choices he made and if he would have done anything differently if given another chance, Tsiga said, “I don’t think there is anything that I will do differently, except of course to improve on the ones I did. I am someone, who believes in giving one’s best and, to the best of my knowledge; that was exactly what I did while in active service. So if it were possible for me to return to active military service, I will do what I am supposed to do the best way possible.”
Tsiga, who was the 14th Director-General of the NYSC until his retirement in 2011, said since his commissioning in 1981 as a second lieutenant, he had started looking to retirement because he knew the day would come and wanted to prepare for it.
“One must plan for himself and appreciate the fact that he will live the office one day”, he said adding that “Imagine me thinking of how to adjust my life now?
“But because I planned for it, I am enjoying myself now, because I am into farming. When you retire, you begin to answer to yourself retirement, you are responsible to yourself. You take off at a time you want and rest whenever you feel like. You have the chance to plan your life your own way, but in the military, you must get permission before moving an inch. Now I have enough time to think for myself, my family, stay with them for as much as I want and other things”, Tsiga concluded.