A potential crisis was narrowly avoided when officers of the Civil Defence (NSCDC) and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) clashed in a heated fight over food at an event organized by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Department of Parks and Recreation. The occasion was held to commemorate the 2023 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and mark the commencement of the annual tree planting campaign.
Thanks to the swift intervention of some guests, including journalists present at the venue, the altercation did not escalate further, as other corps members were ready to come to the defense of their colleagues. The incident took place at the department’s office situated within the protected military zone of Asokoro.
Unfortunately, the event left many guests disgruntled and departed in anger due to accusations leveled against the department’s staff for allegedly hoarding the food and beverages intended for the entertainment of attendees.
The clash erupted when a uniformed NSCDC officer attempted to forcibly seize a bag containing packs of rice and drinks from a male youth corps member. The corps member, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained that the food packs were designated for his fellow NYSC members who had received official invitations to the event. Despite his explanation, the NSCDC officer refused to listen.
In the words of the aggrieved corps member, “One of the staff called me to go and carry food, so I saw the bag and carried it. Then three NSCDC officers came and snatched the bag from me. I asked them why they were taking the bag away since I was informed that it was for NYSC members.”
The situation escalated quickly when the NSCDC officer began warning the corps member to be cautious, leading to a heated exchange. The corps member stood his ground and expressed his refusal to be intimidated. Subsequently, the altercation turned physical, resulting in a full-blown fight.
Expressing his perspective, one of the NSCDC officers remarked, “It was wrong for this young man, who claims to be an NYSC member, to engage in a food dispute with one of our personnel. Despite wearing an NYSC uniform, he failed to articulate himself in public, yet he had the audacity to disrespect civil defence officials over food. Our personnel merely watched the scene unfold, and that is disappointing.”