Endearing Experiences of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC – Emmanuel Onwubiko

By Adejumoke Alebiosu

As a BA holder in English and Literary Studies, Imo State University, I was asked to teach Literature in English, and as a caterer by profession, I was also given Home Economies to teach. Since I reported to my PPA, it has been from glory to glory as i have been recognized as a caterer by the school staff and students after handling the catering aspect successfully during the school valedictory service.

My NYSC experiences so far has been a great one, as I relocated from Imo State to serve my father land in Anambra State, If not for NYSC I wouldn’t have learnt the things I know now. To the NYSC organizers may God continue to strengthen you and give you the capacity to face the numerous challenges that come with it. I also wish to thank specially the NYSC D. G, Brig Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim for work well- done.

My name is Matthew Zakka an Ex Corp member with state code number; EK/19A/1234. A graduate of Political Science from Kaduna State University, born and brought up in Karu and currently residing at Karu-Abuja.

As a fresh graduand from Kaduna State University in 2019, the urge to put on the NYSC khaki was irrestible and uncontrollable. This was not unconnected with the many tales that I have in the past or let me say before graduation heard about how Corp members and service year were.

I have heard people leave service and call it a scam because they never experienced anything from it, I have heard of stories of how some met their lifetime partners in the course of serving their Nation. How government sponsored their wedding, I have seen some that gained a lot and became very independent after the 12months scheme. I have heard of life in camp, “Mami” where corp members do go for hang out.

I have, In some, social parlance heard many termed them (Corp Members) as “Government Property”. To this effect, the quest to put on the Khaki and prove to as many that care to know that I’m a certified graduate can only be best imagined.

Oh Lord! I can’t just wait to put on this regalia. When oh Lord? These and many more where thoughts that dominated the mind of a fresh and innocent grandaunt like me.

It follows, that, the news for mobilization is on. I quickly rushed to the Cyber Cafe and registered myself. In the process of filling my bio data, I got to certain point, in which, I was asked to choose 4 States that I would love to serve.

So, I chose Kano, Abia, Ekiti and Nasarawa State. I wanted Kano State but Lo and behold, I was later assign to serve in Ekiti State. I hurriedly printed out my green card, made five photocopies each of my credentials.

And When I got home I picked up some Sunday wears, my camp wears (Whites) and a flask and other utensils and prepared myself for the journey to Ekiti- Emure.

It so happend, that, I arrived so late at Emure Camp in Ekiti State.The journey was so hectic. Worst still, my phone was dead as I was watching movie throughout the journey.

I couldn’t call anyone at home or my close ally Isaac Danladi to inform him that I arrived safely. So the following morning, I asked a fellow where I can charge my phone and he directed me to a place (Mami) as it is fondly called and I was charged N50 and was given a tag.

After some hours I was back and I gave the vendor his tag and N50 and he gave me my phone. It was there and then that I called home to notify them that I arrived safely but couldn’t call home because the phone was off.

I couldn’t register myself that very day, so the next day, I joined the queue for registration. Registration was such a herculean task. It took me three days before I could get registered.

After being registered, it was then I viewed myself as a free born. I’m such a social fellow an extrovert to the core. So, making friends was just easy and flexible.

I made myself available to Camp activities ranging from series of lectures, military drills, Man o War, Drama club, Cultural group, Red Cross,Quarter gaurd, comedy among others. However, I was much interested in military drills.

Even so, I would safely say, my NYSC experience at Ekiti was worth it and endearing. Although, I missed home every moment spent away from home was awesome.

One endearing aspect of my NYSC year is that it prepared me to comprehend how life can be in a new land with no family. I made new friends both in camp and in my Primary Place of Assignment (PPA) – Jonathan Affiku, Sunday Dare, Deborah Denikite, Raphael Okom just to mention but  a few.

NYSC, gave me the best supportive friends and Mother, whom I will never forgive myself if I fail to mention her here – Iya Alake. She is a mother in the true sense of the word. There was never a dull moment with her.

I, had the opportunity to learn other people’s culture, integrate with people from different religious, political and ethnic lines. It made me to understand that there is strength and unity in diversity and makes me to understanding in full the saying; “Another man’s food is another man’s poison”

Moreso, another aspect that was so dear to me, was the monthly stipend of N19,800 (Alawi), as a fresh graduate, who, before now often depended and called friends and family for monthly stipend while schooling and now getting to know that a whooping sum of N19,800 would be mine was the sweetest joy ever to me. It made me to see myself  already a civil servant.

Also, walking the street or while going for Community Development Service and seeing children and adults chanting “Kopa Shun” “Kopa Shun” was such an endearing experience to me. It made feel I have arrived.

Again, NYSC gave me a complete state of indepence. It made me to understand how to live within my monthly stipend of N19,800. It inculcate that managerial prowess in me. It made me see life in a broader perspective. In a nutshell, it prepared me for life after service.

Added to the above, the scheme, instilled leadership qualities in me and prepared me physically and mentally for the challenges of life. It further, adjusted my view of soceity and life as a whole from idealism to realism.

It indeed avails me a smooth transition from the academic world into the larger society as a full working class and I confidently and honourably submitted myself to it, in view, of the fact that it provided me the platform to contribute my quota to Nation building.

My name is Oreji Chibuike Emmanuel an Ex Corp member with State Code Tr/17b/0283. I hail from Uburu Ohaozara L.G.A Ebonyi State a graduate of Civil Engineering from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.

Two years after graduation I still find it uninteresting to go for NYSC. That faithful night my mum called me and asked me a striking question “Chibuike are you sure you truly graduated from the university as you said?” I answered “Yes” She asked me “Why haven’t you gone for NYSC?” I was speechless. After then I decided to mobilise for NYSC only to prove to her I actually graduated.

During mobilization, I selected Anambra State, Delta State, Benue State and finally Taraba State which is where I least wanted to go. As my fate could have it, I was posted to Taraba State. On that faithful Monday morning I arrived Upper Iweka Park in Onitsha Anambra State where we left for Taraba State with other Prospective Corp members.

On getting to the Orientation camp on Monday Night, registration commenced and I was given a room alongside  people from different ethnic background and different geographical zones, 3- Northerners, 1 middle belt, 1 south-south and 2 south eastern (I and my Roommate/course mate in School).

Right from the registration points, I started to learn the following;

Ethic Integration: Relating with my Roommates made me to see Love, understanding from the Northern part which changed my Old ill ideology. Their attitude made me to conclude that I will never redeploy even though there pressure to redeploy. During the 3 weeks Orientation Camp, we were made to Team up with people from different ethic ideologies for Parade, dancing, drama presentations, football and Volleyball Competitions. These activities helped in uniting us better. At the end of the Orientation Camp I was posted to Nyimu Academy Graba Chede Bali L.G.A Taraba State for my PPA (Place of Primary Assignment) where I experienced a home away from home. The host community was hospitable, loving and caring. Towards my POP (Passing Out Parade) date, my neighbours, students and employer were in sober mood like people who lost their love one all because my services year has coming to an end. The Host community organized a Farewell Football match for my sake. At the end of my service year I discovered that “Love knows no boundary”.