Hello everyone you are welcome to the Wakaabouts of Penocrat again this week. Yesterday, a new set of National Youth Services Corps members left camp to go to their various places of primary assignment, to celebrate (if that word is appropriate) the newest set of “Government Pikins” Penocrat Ayomide Kindness shares from her experience as a Corps member in Kebbi State. I am sure you will enjoy it as usual
“…This is Kebbi! Here we are being cheated. Despite the fact that the North is bigger, we don’t get much Kopas. Corps members are usually mobilized in large numbers to other states! But here in the North? We don’t even get up to half the number, of what the eastern or western states get. The North is bigger! Look at Kebbi! Only 1,678 corps members. States like Delta get up to 5000 Kopas! It’s quite unfortunate in this country. The North is bigger. Well, as many of you that are nursing thoughts of redeployment, please kill it! Kill it! We can’t let you go! You are going nowhere! You have come to serve your country, and your country you must serve! Kebbi is peaceful! You people should stay with us. We assure you of electricity, good roads, water, and food. Even adventure! You don’t even know if it is God that sent you down here to make a difference. Stay with us! The only people allowed to redeploy are married women and people suffering from life-threatening illnesses. If you come with a fake marriage certificate, that’s your problem. We are going to write that your imaginary husband’s surname on your NYSC certificate.
Aside from that, no stories. You’re staying! Once again, I congratulate you on your mobilization, and I wish you the best.” The NYSC state coordinator ended his speech.
Ha! Aiye le o. I turned to Maryam, my friend. “Babe, I no fit stay here o. I will just die. This is a farming state. No media house, nothing. My folks ain’t too bothered. They say the state is peaceful. I’ve been heartbroken since I stepped foot in this Kebbi camp. Babe, I fear North.”
“Okay, this is what you will do. Never partake in any social activity, always act very sick and slow in the public eye, and most importantly, you have to start fainting.” Maryam said. “Ha! Fainting bawo? Noo I can’t o.” “Yes, o babe. You must faint. I know you have a medical report that states you have internal cold and all that shit but it is not enough! These northerners are mean. They will screen you very tightly! If you must leave Kebbi, you must act the part. When you get to the parade ground in the morning, faint. FIAM! Let Red Cross coman carry you. If you do it 3 or 4 times, they will redeploy you. Just faint!” She explained.
That morning, at the parade ground. I was already prepared to faint. No makeup, no earrings, just my white on white. I was timing the whole thing. National anthem pass. NYSC anthem pass. Morning meditation pass. My friend signaled me.” Oya! Babe Now is the time. Fall to the ground!”
I stretched my legs a bit for practice sake. Then looked around to be sure no one was focusing on me. Just as I was about to fall into anointing, I heard a very loud cry directly at my back. “Ewoooo! Ewoooo! Chimoooo! I turned around to behold a Kopa in his thirties crashing to the ground. I was frightened. Hian! The Red Cross team arrived immediately at the scene. Just as they were lifting Oga up to the stretcher, three ladies collapsed too. Maryam came to my line. “Babe collapse na. Join them! This is how you redeploy. Act this movie!” She whispered.
I couldn’t do it again.I had lost the urge. Especially as many other Kopas in other platoons were now beginning to collapse too. I was actually feeling for the Red Cross team. I pitied them. Especially the two small fine boys that had to carry one Aunty above their head. The old cargo was busy smiling down at us. She couldn’t even act the film well. The boys were just suffering themselves. Kai! Naijeriya!
Maryam was furious with me. According to her, I messed up. Ordinary faint, I cannot faint. I apologized and told her that these NYSC people are not fools. Besides, the way that man shouted was very frightening. Which wan is Ewoo!!! Ewooo!!! Chimooo!? Who faints like that? Why didn’t he just keep quiet and drop to the ground like his mates? I begged her to come up with another plan. She agreed. We both joined the OBS. She was a presenter, I was a reporter.
Swearing in ceremony was worse. Almost everybody was fainting for one reason or the other. Some fainted for redeployment sake, some needed to rest from too much standing under the scorching sun, While others just wanted to be given water to drink. As time went on, I discovered that joining the OBS was one of the greatest mistakes I’d ever made. It made me popular. My name became OBS on camp. Maryam too. Every zonal inspector wanted me to serve in his local government. I even got a marriage proposal from an Alhaji with four wives.
When I noticed nothing was working, I changed plans, brought out my fake medical report and went for screening. By that time I don cram all the symptoms of internal cold, asthma, and the drugs needed.
I got to the hall in the afternoon. It was filled up. Almost everyone filed for redeployment. Majorly Igbos and Yorubas. Coman see different medical reports. I see plenty diseases sote I taya! One Yoruba Aunty that was happily chewing groundnut and gisting with her friends, got to the screening stand and started shedding tears o. Azzin Widow-like tears o.See Nollywood!hen they asked her what her problem was, she said Kebbi has a lot of dust, and she has been exposed to dust since she arrived at camp. So because of that, she finds breathing very difficult. She was like; “Ma please redeploy me. I Kent die now. Mi o fe kuuu”
Funny enough, everybody pretended like they didn’t know the aunty was lying. Some were like; ” Ehyaaa! ” Others even brought out handkerchiefs and began to form cry. One Igbo babe at the back screamed.”Ndi Hausa bikonu. Are you people not seeing her cry? Hapunu ya aka ka onaba nu! Service obu force? Please let us go na. Tufia!”
Just then, one of the officers brought out an inhaler. He looked at Aunty. “You have asthma?” He asked. “Yesah! ” Aunty replied.
“Okay, use this stuff.” He handed her the inhaler. Aunty started panicking. “Eskiss me sah! I don’t really like using inhalers. I prefer drugs. I don’t even like this brand of inhaler sef.” When Aunty saw how serious the screening officials were, she collected the inhaler and started puffing it into her nose. “Ha! Is that how you do it?” One Oga shouted. Aunty held the inhaler and started thinking. She didn’t know where to apply it. Whether na nose or mouth. So she started crying. She was confused. “Next person!” The officer in charge shouted.
Aunty was angry. Oga tore her redeployment paper. She kept shouting as she was leaving the hall. ” Emi! You people cannot keep me here o. My God won’t allow it! Olorun ma’je! Laye!
Well, to cut the long gist, one Igbo guy with very deep voice was called to the Stand. He didn’t have anything. No medical report. Just one To-Whom-It-May-Concern letter. According to him, he has a spiritual problem which he was actually still curing at his village before he received his call up letter.
“What is the nature of the sickness?” Oga asked.
“Temporary madness Sir.” He replied.
“Ha! I don’t believe you.” Oga said.
” Oga ekuchagokwala’m. Na spiritual attack o” He replied.
“What did you say? And how does it occur? Like what are the symptoms? How often does it come?”
“Oga I no know. Today e go come, tomorrow e go go. Na wetin make me say make Una redeploy me. I fit dey teach for one school for here now, the thing go just start. Abeg redeploy me. I dey mad. I no wan kill anybody. My drug dey house.”
One Kopa Doctor who was part of the team walked up to the guy and was like ” It is a lie! You can work on it. It’s just a matter of training. Bros you can control … The Doctor never even talk finish, Kopa fire am slap come begin laugh like serious mad man.
The Doctor was angry. “My friend are you mad? What is wrong with you? Are you ok… Kopa tear am another slap before him finish sentence sef. One of the officials came to intervene, Kopa fire that wan slap too.Everybody shock. Nobody came close again.
They eventually managed to bundle Kopa away, even as he kept laughing and forming madness. Very crazy guy! Finally, Kopa was redeployed to Enugu.
I was redeployed to Delta. Family rescued me. Maryam was redeployed to Ogun.
That man that fainted wasn’t redeployed. He went to play ball and was caught. Asthmatic patients are supposed to avoid dust.
Please leave this one Nijeriya sontin. Everybody Shu serve in their state biko! Ees not funny! The hustle for redeployment is real.
I don tire to dey type jare. Aproko people! Happy Sunday to those who went to church. The rest of you should gaan collect your own greeting from Amadioha. Awon unbelifers!
Written by ME! Copy unjustly and Quench!