Music star Davido’s resumption at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos yesterday caused uproar.
Fellow corps members fell over one another to catch a glimpse of the star, whose real name is David Adeleke.
He is part of the 2,152 corps members mobilised for the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Stream II.
The graduate of music from Babcock University, Ogun State was greeted by a crowd of cheering corps members, who almost mobbed him as he came out of a white Mercedes Benz with a Police Force number plate PF 413-S.
NYSC Coordinator Prince Mohammed Momoh’s best effort to avoid commotion as a result of the star’s presence proved abortive, as corps members surrounded his office, screaming with excitement after soldiers and officials managed to get him in.
Davido, dressed in the NYSC ceremonial uniform, signed the NYSC oath for corps members amid camp officials and soldiers.
The officials had to summon the corps members to the parade ground with the beagle to draw them away from the coordinator’s office.
Afterwards, he was brought out to the corps members, who had been made to sit on the parade ground. He refused to stand on a makeshift stage brought for him, but preferred to stand in front of his peers.
He told them to stay motivated in serving their country.
“Stay motivated, I love you all,” he said before he was taken away.
Davido told reporters that he chose to serve three years after graduation because he was still young.
“I am still young and I want to spend my time as a youth to serve my country. I am a corper like any other and I think I can withstand the pressure.”
Corps members and people who sell in the Mammy Market ran after his car as he left the camp. In his characteristic manner, he threw money in the air, which made some stop to scramble for the currency. But others still pursued him until the car left the premises.
Some corps members described the experience as exciting, while others felt it was unnecessary.
“Today was like the bomb. Lagos is the best camp. The best thing, Davido, came to camp. It was amazing.
Being a celebrity doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to school or serve. It is just to promote our country that no matter what you are, go to school and serve your father land,” said Victor Adebiyi, a graduate of Business Administration from Ekiti State University.
Another corps member said it was okay that the NYSC was cautious about Davido’s presence in camp because of the distraction.
“This is the best they should have done. Even if he is here in camp, it would cause a lot of distraction because many people would want to mingle with him,” he said.
However, Tolani Tells, a Psychology graduate, felt the corps members should not have been kept on the parade ground because of the music star.
“It was embarrassing to me as a person. I see it as demeaning to me. You won’t tell me to sit on the floor because someone is coming. He went to school as I did. I even spent six years for a four-year course; I spent more years in school than he did. I didn’t see him when he came to register and life did not end if I didn’t see him today. It wouldn’t matter,” she said.
NYSC Coordinator Momoh said when Davido came for registration when the camp opened on Tuesday, there was quite some commotion – with the officials struggling to stop outsiders from scaling the fence into the camp.
He said Davido came to camp dressed in white T-shirt and shorts – the uniform used by corps members for physical training in the morning.
When asked why Davido was not in camp for the swearing-in yesterday, Momoh said he was issued an exeat to leave camp the day before and had come in early and left.
“I knew what happened when he came for registration. Within minutes, it was uproar. From the camp market, everybody came around. People heard in town, they were struggling to come in. We had to send soldiers to the gate to stop people from coming in. And we know that that can be a breach of security. Whether we like it or not, he is a special corps member by his status. We are not giving him undue favouritism.”
However, after the ceremony, NE learnt that the initial arrangement was for Davido to come in early, be on the parade ground just before the swearing-in by the Chief Judge of Lagos, and be smuggled out shortly afterwards. However, the star came late, thereby nullifying that arrangement.
It was gathered that Davido was placed in Platoon Nine.