Everyday by 12pm for the next 21 days, I’ll be telling you what life is like at NYSC Camp. I was posted to Borno State, but the camp holds in Katsina state due to Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. You can read all the stories in the series here.
It is only in NYSC camp that Sunday is truly a day of rest. And I mean it o. It is the only day when you get to do nothing until 4 PM when it is time for evening parade.
It’s such a relief. I take my time doing everything, including waking up. The first day that I don’t have soldiers waking you up with that annoying bugle and I won’t sleep well? God forbid o. God forbid.
I do my laundry, get bath water and rearrange my clothes. I want to go to church; I didn’t go last week and this week I must go, God punish devil.
Heading to church now. I have sufficiently missed breakfast, so I stop at the staff canteen to get bread and fried eggs. It ends up being a small punishment because I don’t find water to drink. Someone gives me a sip of tea but that even adds to the wahala. Devil is this your plan? Is this how you want to come? Hahaha, my God has shamed you o.
The woman at the canteen tells me not to joke with church. She tells me that corps members die every year, and that some people get go camp and forget God. In a way, she makes me miss my mother. That’s the kind of thing Mama Kunle would say. I nod, and I head out as soon as I down what remains of my bread and fried egg.
EVERYTHING THEY SAY IN THIS CAMP IS AIMED AT GETTING US TO STAY BACK IN BORNO.
Seriously. Camp lectures, SAED, and even sermon. The sermon was okay, yeah, but then the pastor veered in the Stay-In-Borno direction, I didn’t even know what to do with myself again. It’s all cloaked in spirituality, of course. Like, discover the will of God for your life. What if God has programmed you to stay in Borno state? Remember Jonah? He redeployed to a state out of God’s will for him and look at what happened. I know a lady who earns 600k per month working with NGOs. I work directly with commissioners. I am from Benin, I have not even met my state commissioner. But look at. See, follow the will of God. There is direct connection to God in the North.
You people should stop. If I will go to Borno, I will go. Leave me to decide, don’t push any agenda into my decision process. Leave me while I think, abeg.
I stop to see the Camp Director so I can ask him what my chances are if I decide to stay back in Borno. He says I have a good chance: get posted to the capital, receive state allowance, if I want, I can stay in the NCCF lodge and if I don’t, I can stay somewhere else.
Have I submitted my application for redeployment? Yes.
Well, I can change it if I want. I just have to write a letter of cancellation and submit it to the people at ICT. If I don’t want to write a letter, I can decide not to go to wherever I decide to relocate to after I have been posted. Just write a letter of cancellation and that’s it.
It looks (and sounds) more complicated than I am making it seem. And in a way, I am a bit divided. Don’t ask me why. Even me I don’t know.
Lunch is Jollof rice and chicken. I got a chicken drumstick but this one doesn’t look like a drumstick. More like a broomstick. The Jollof rice is concoction, abeg. But e sweet sha. But let’s be honest sef, wetin no dey sweet for hungry man mouth?
The rest of the day spirals into a quick end. Evening parade is a drag and only God understands where all our energy has gone. Dinner is yam pottage and fried fish. You people will not believe what happened to me o. I begged them for tail of fish, but when I was served the fish, I was now regretting that I begged for it. The thing looks like it has gonorrhoea. I left that place shedding tears internally.
Shebi you know that my hostel people do the most in yarning okoto meow gist? Well, this night is no different. They begin with the talk of “Can you sleep with your best friend’s babe?”
A: No na, that doesn’t make sense.
B: That’s rubbish.
C: What’s there? I can do it na.
A: It means you can kill your guy na.
B: But what if they do it for you? Like say, make your guy dey gbensh your babe?
C: Wetin dey there. So far as I no know about am.
Me: Jesus Christ the son of God, look at the people you died for. Just look at.