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TRIBUTES TO THE 2011 BATCH B NYSC GRADUATES

TRIBUTES TO THE 2011 BATCH B NYSC GRADUATES

by June 14, 2012 16 comments

I want to use this medium to congratulate all the NYSC – National Youth Service Corp, Nigeria graduates that successfully completed and finished their 365 days of National Youth Service. The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war into a united, strong and self-reliant nation, a great and dynamic, land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens; and a free and democratic society.

Amidst many unpalatable scenarios; for example “the hanging in the balance of the little stipends called “allowee””, the fear of Boko-Haram bombings, especially if you served your motherland in the northern part of the country, the feeling of lack of belonging if you served in the state where you don’t understand their language, culture and way of life… and so on. Amidst all theses unfriendly situations, you have graduated successfully; you stood out to be the Outstanding Last Man/Woman standing. Indeed it’s worth rejoicing for.

And because of this cause, I have decided to blog this to celebrate all our “corper-shun”, all our “ajuwaye” that made it to end. Once again I Celebrate and Congratulate you for this Success.

Below is a story from one of our faithful corper, who reckoned it fit to share his experience, I hope you enjoy reading through and I’d employ you to drop your comment by signing your initials and hailing our Motherland – (Nigeria), the great state of your service year, the blessedness of the Local Government you served at and our Long standing National Youth Service Program – (NYSC)

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“………On July 6, 2011, eight months after my final year exam, I set off for NYSC orientation camp in Umudi, Nkwerre local government area of Imo state. Batch B, 2011 orientation camp had opened on July 5.

I got to the Cross Country park at Ojuelegba for my scheduled bus, which take off time was 6:30am. Lagos to Imo is an eight hour drive so I was expected to get to camp before evening parade, but due to unprecedented circumstances, we set off 9:00am. Nine commuters (seven corps members and two other travellers) set off from the park and other travellers joined us along the road as we traversed on our journey and being a quiet melancholy I sat with my arms folded across my chest and listen to the chatter of my fellow commuters. Our bus was supposed to be a direct route to the orientation camp due to high number of travellers but because of bus shortage on the part of the firm we had to allow other non corps members travellers; it was the harbinger to disaster. We could not achieve the eight hour drive from Lagos to Imo due to many stops on the way. We got to Onitsha by 7:00pm and by 8:00pm we are few turnings NYSC orientation camp in Umudi, Nkwerre local govt area of Imo state.

We had stop earlier at Onitsha to allow some travellers to alight, which left us with eight commuters (seven corps members, one non corps member and the driver) while I sat beside the door (when travelling never seat beside the door though in case of emergency it may help but during robbery you are the first call).

Two junctions to the camp and we were driving really slowly because of the bad muddy road and a slow-paced lorry (like those we had in Agbo goes to school and Ali and Simbi that we read in primary school) in our front. Some unsuspected robbers had been on our trail on bike because they guess we are corps members and new to the locality.

Their first attack was on the driver in order to get us to a halt and after him, me. At first I thought to myself, what such of wild friends will be struggling the control of a bus with their friend when they knew it dangerous (I never knew they were robbers, it was my first experience) I was the second in line because I sat beside the door, I had not fully comprehend the scenario when the door beside me open and the phone in my hand was gone, my wallet drop from my pocket to the robber’s hand with ease because of the gun he had to my face, whether the gun was real or fake, whether it has bullets or not was not a discourse; it never cross my mind. The passengers that set at the back were able to remove their sim cardand some with two phones gave out only one, the other three colleague of mine that were going to Imo state had two phones each and were lucky to give up their ‘AA’ and preserve their ‘BB’. I received a slap for a reason I decided to keep mute on. All the guys on board were asked to lie on the bad muddy road, at first and afterwards I was asked to join them after a slap from the guy with the gun; I oblige without murmur. They stole our valuables and left us in the middle of the road; they did evil and ran away.

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We got to camp and information; like a wild wind that can’t be tamed got to all and sundry in no time. I decided to stay mute on the experience throughout the camp, likewise three of us did the same, but the sanguine lady among us never did and was always pointing friends at us at various times in camp to attest the truthfulness of her story; partners in robbery attack, I guess she would say. We received favour the night we got to camp because of the incident, I got another favour because the camp commandant has the same surname with me and the RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) was a fun to behold, I had a chat with him once and I could tell he was a fun to be with.

I decided to get a police report and court sworn affidavit of the stolen items and was able to sweet-talk my other colleagues (I mean partner in robbery attack). After much discourse the camp co-ordinator grant us exit from the camp on July 11, to Nkwerre local government police station (only three of us went because one of the ladies as relocated back to Lagos). We went to the court first to sworn an affidavit (despite our condition we were still charge, in fact we had to change court because of cost, am an economist you know) and then proceeded to the police station. We met the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) at the station who ordered the officer in charge to type the police extract while we have a chat with him. The discourse was really nice but he made a statement that begat many rhetorical questions in me. He said ‘NYSC should have informed him about the orientation camp so that he would have ensure more safety measure on the path to the camp by deploying his men towards that region (NYSC orientation camp was located within Nkwerre local government area of Imo state which was under his jurisdiction), and my questing spirit ask, do you keep your home safe only when strangers announced their presence and home coming? The in flock of over one thousands corps members on Tuesday (July 5) and some on Monday (July 4) into your locality was too minimal for you to smell a rat. He claimed it was the phone call after the unleashed robbery attack on us by untamed hoodlums in his society that informed him of the on-going orientation camp. What a disappointment!

After the dialogue the office in charge of typing the police extract ask us for fee (bribe) but we paid him no dime; thanks to the police officer that came with us from the orientation camp, he left angrily and I queried what his salary was meant for? I pity the officer because there was neither power supply nor computer in that station and he had to use a type writer, it would have been faster and easier if it was on a computer because he would only have to edit some information. The DPO sign and we left back for the camp. Camp came to an end on July 26, and I set out for Lagos after an exhilarating experience in Umudi camp, Nkwerre local government area of Imo state. Three out of the four robbed Imo state corps members relocated to Lagos and only one corps member remained to serve her motherland in Imo while we decides to serve her in Lagos state. We spent twenty days at NYSC orientation camp in Umudi, Nkwerre local government area of Imo state but it was a life experience.

Little did I know that this experience of mine was just a reality check preamble

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Three weeks of exhilarating regimental lifestyle will need a good therapy to regain whole consciousness, thanks to leave from all camp activities at the long run.

I spent exactly fifteen days; the equivalent of three weeks, after my arrival from Imo state on July 26, to get my posting letter. It should take three days since I had a request letter, but . . .

I arrived in Lagos and contacted a friend (pre-NYSC staff), who works in a firm that recruits corps member, but only two set of corps members were welcome: those posted from NYSC or those that have relocated or had been rejected somewhere else and knew someone in the firm, I was not among the two set and was not welcome, but I won’t give up.

On August 2, 2011 over thirty corps members were gathered, all asking for an opportunity to be absorbed in the firm for the NYSC scheme. Some chose the firm because of money, some chose the firm to prove a point, I guess I chose the firm because I was really need of a PPA (Primary Place of Assignment)

I was neither invited nor posted by NYSC so it will be a hard fight, but I was determined, dogged and desperate. I pray before setting out that morning and keyed into the prayer of a man of God in this country, which has become a popular ringtone ‘As I succeed’ and ‘If there is nothing to worry about’ by Pastor W.F.Kumuyi. I was determined to write the exam at all cost, even if I had to break a bank, today I will get a PPA I said to myself. I was finally allowed to write the test, mercy rejoices over rules. Test result will take only twenty-four but it turns into sixty-hours. On August 5, 2011, I received a congratulatory test message that I have survived the long huddle and have won a request letter now am a step forward in the NYSC scheme.

This is the end of a chapter but the beginning of a new one.

 

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I submitted my original request letter on August 8, to the security guards at the state secretariat because I was a JJC (Jolly just come), and did not ask enough questions. I was a victim of inadequate information because I should have submitted it to a staff. On August 23, I saw my folder after much pleading but could not find my request letter in it. My hard earned request letter was gone, the security guards said he submitted it, the staff said she has no record, what will I do? I pleaded and was allowed to submit a photocopy of the request letter and three days from that I got my posting letter.

In those three weeks I prayed, fasted, got a new type of perseverance; understand some of the challenges of the NYSC scheme; now I’m serving in a firm where I knew no one save a pre-NYSC staff, a firm that told me five months earlier that is no space for me as a pre-NYSC staff.

The journey was not that rosy, but I can stand up tall today to say I am opportune, exhilarated and full of joy that despite the dwindling and wangling, the toss and doss, the hustles and bustles, the smiles and tears, the happiness and sorrows, the good times and the bad times and the dismal and Marvellous seasons, I made it. I succeeded and I am fulfilled.

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Long live National Youth Service Corps

Long live Nkwerre local government

Long live Imo state

Long live federal republic of Nigeria

 

Food for thought:  When life gives you a lemon:

If you look hard and long enough

If you pray hard and long enough

If you stay hard and long enough

If you think hard and long enough

You will make a lemonade drink.

 

FYI: The purpose of the NYSC scheme is primarily to inculcate in Nigerian Youths the spirit of selfless service to the community, and to emphasize the spirit of oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians, irrespective of cultural or social background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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