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Around that time, he tweeted a caption, “tying up loose a end” via his Twitter account which people thought pointed to his intention to actively participate in the one year service.

On this assumption, Pulse named him the Prop of the week ending August 31, 2018.

The compulsory term, that includes three weeks of boot camp-esque inhumane conditions in mostly unfamiliar terrains across Nigeria with essentially pro bono, pointless employment while being paid a derisory amount if NGN19, 800 by the Nigerian federal government was meant to be strict and compulsory for everyone who graduated under the age of 30 - Davido graduated at 24 in 2016.

While it was meant to mostly promote youthful insights into life outside one’s comfort zone, as the reason to travel to unfamiliar terrains, a lot of Nigerians have found ways to get posted to more familiar terrains through cheating and what we call ‘runs’.

ALSO READ: Davido's camp diary

Similar programs in other countries

The pointlessness of the entire affair has made it not only an object of mockery and terrible management by Nigerian youths, whom the program was meant to educate, unlike the compulsory one-year military service occasioned by South Korean and Israeli governments, mostly treated with esteem and reverence.

Celebrities like Gal Gadot,  for the (Israeli) IDF or Gangnam Style crooner, Psy — for the Korean Army are proud alumni of compulsory national service. South Korea especially stresses a compulsory age of 27 for compulsory participation.

Singer, Psy even had to undergo his engagement twice - despite his stardom - after he was found to have served the first one leisurely.

Equally, Barbadian Pop star, Rihanna also served in her country’s military system where another popular singer, Shontelle — behind the 2008 sleeper hit, T-shirt — was her drill sergeant.

On Sunday, September 2, 2018, news broke that South Korean and Tottenham Hotspurs football star, Son Heung-Min, only avoided the compulsory one-year service through exemption by the grit of teeth — winning the gold medal at the Asian Games, an U-23 tournament hosted by Indonesia.

If he had not won, it would have disrupted his football career with an English club, contracted to pay his wages till 2022.

Exemption, lack of commitment and corruption

Like the NYSC compulsory service, each of these foreign programs have terms of exemption.

Alas, Nigerians who wouldn’t have passed for exemption are finding ways around the system, not serving fully while certain Nigerians, who belong to families at the lower rung of the social hierarchy are made to go through every leg of the process.

Despite the corruption and preferential treatment in other states, Lagos and Abuja camps are more prone to preferential treatment.

The ‘compulsory’ three-week orientation live-in camp, where everyone asides nursing mothers should attend, is missed by a handful of people who can pay the money.

While some even break the rules and come from home, a lot of people never even step foot in the camp — they only come for registration, induction and passing out parade from camp.

Even more befuddling, they go further to engage in scattered service through the one year - even weekly community development service exercises, and leave their weekly allowance to their Local Government Inspectors so long as they get to pick up the certificates at the expiration of 10 months.

But of course, what do we expect from a country where its sitting President has a questionable WASSCE certificate; where its Minister of Finance and another Senator falsified NYSC certificates to gain the public service seats they currently occupy?

What do we say when Nigerian politicians employ shamelessly hilarious, theatrical means to avoid spending time in jail through the very sensitive exception to bail grant on health grounds during indictment?

It’s a cycle of corruption that Davido has only benefitted from and is not his fault. He was celebrated after he entered the program, but only lasted one day in camp.

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He allegedly travelled out of the country that night. Pictures of him have so far surfaced on the internet on his Locked Up Tour and rap star, Jay Z’s Made In America’ tour while he was meant to be in camp, committed to the NYSC cause, he willingly signed up to.

His “tying up loose a end” tweet now seems a mock towards Nigeria. Or maybe he only made it a publicised affair so he has a defence for when he intends to run for office in the near future? Regardless, it is a sad turn of events that couldn’t have happened in a lot of other countries, albeit this easily.

Why the preferential treatment?

The ordinary Nigerian couldn’t have been afforded such opportunity to run wild while supposedly engaged in the NYSC program or has it now become a privilege to have a superstar on the program?

Has NYSC become the Glo that endorses stars for branding and advertisement? Even if you wanted to paint a picture that the NYSC is all-inclusive, where a pop star can find his place, what message are you sending when he runs on tour while his mates are in camp for the three week camp?

But then, at the end of these three weeks, he’d be back in camp for the passing out parade and then get all the necessary documentation, like the ones who grinded for three weeks of intense test of limitation and inhumane conditions.

Why did the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Suleiman Zakare Kazaure allow this crisis of madness as a meal for mainstream media? Do we not care anymore about the optics and how our nation looks to the outside world, in a country that desperately needs to up its approval ratings?

Are we saying that social hierarchy is now a determinant of participation or otherwise in compulsory national programs? Have we normalized corruption and wrongness to that extent?

It's a point of cynical taciturnity to rightness that has crippled our country for years. Why did the NYSC not care enough to refuse Davido and tell him to come back when he was going to be in Nigeria?

Fam, he did not even stay in Nigeria. He is being celebrated in across America for the entire world to see shambles that is the NYSC.

Are the rules of NYSC still to be adhered to?

What would be the be the reaction to the average Nigerian who flouts simple rules like travelling outside his place of primary assignment without permission? Are we going to punish him, while Davido flouts rules and gets celebrated in a program that supposedly promotes diversity and rigid rules that nobody is supposedly above?

The height of madness is when a people notably make rigid rules an object of derogatory convenience in favour of the rich while the poor suffer painful consequences of flouring similar rules.

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On Thursday, August 30, 2018, the 2016 graduate of Babcock University, Ilishan drove into the Iyana Ipaja Camp, driven by a conspicuously white car to jubilant celebrations, delirium and pandemonium, and even fanfare by supposed custodians of such camp.

He broke Rule 15(i) and (ii) of the NYSC camp rules which states that, “Any member who brings vehicles or motorcycles to camp shall not be registered, and if already registered, shall be decamped. Such member shall only be allowed to return to service to join the next batch in the orientation camp."

Has privilege suddenly become a reasonable ground for partial treatment in a supposedly impartial system? The NYSC has not only failed by its application this time, it has taken a huge L.

If Son Heung-Min a global football star had to sacrifice the opening 4 games of club paying him over £70,000 to serve his country in hope to gain an uncertain exemption, and Psy, a crossover star, with the most watched video ever on YouTube could be dammed to serving twice, why is NYSC being partial?

If the government of the day preaches “change” and “corruption is bad”, why is it celebrating corruption so blatantly? Partiality is a form of corruption.

Davido is not the problem

Nonetheless, it’s not a Davido problem. It is an NYSC problem and they should pick that L. Davido is only benefitting from a problematic system, he’s not the problem. Honestly, anyone would act like Davido.

Most people served because they had no choice or because NGN19, 800 was better than nothing which meant living off their parents after tertiary education.

On Sunday, September 2, 2018, a Nigerian Lawyer, Nifemi who tweets at @O_Nife made this thread on the issue;

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Admittedly, the program is unnecessary

In the end, the program is unnecessary. While schools in Northern Nigeria are supposedly benefiting from the program due to its supply of recycle teachers, it is not sufficient reason to keep a fundamentally flawed program alive.

Either they make it compulsory military service, or cancel it. For now, the program has outlasted its usefulness. Even diversity is no longer a sustainable goal.