Thursday Aug 11, 2022

Otondo



“dem go born mumu
Dem go born mumu
If corper marry corper dem go born mumu”

You have been selected to serve your country, and you are indeed lucky that you’re mobilised because you could have been stuck at home like your colleagues trapped by the ASUU strike.

You arrive camp totally knackered after the long journey. Of course you don’t really like the idea because there’s no law that says you can’t serve your country from your home. Unfortunately you have no one to influence your posting, or the person you trusted failed to deliver. To make matters worse you probably were posted Clear accross the country, to a camp in an unknown location!

You get to the gate and upon arrival the soldiers order you to carry your luggage and jog to the police station. You curse your luck because you brought enough clothes to dress the entire platoon. And as your neck caves under the weight you realise you made it.

Then you join the queues. Useless queues for everything, from collecting a number to collecting your second call-up number. If that’s not enough, POINT2 will break even the finest gentlemen. You see, no one is patient or refined enough to wait their turn. People constantly jumping queues, pushing, sweating, cursing…the only consolation for the sexually deprived is that when there’s a girl in front of you on the queue (or behind)…oh well, do the math!

I kept asking myself if all this was necessary. All the details required had already been submitted to our schools. All that was truly needed was for the officials to verify our credentials.

And the uniforms! Everything was extra large like they had queen lateefah in mind when they made them. The boots were usually oversized…not that it mattered to me (I have naturally big feet and even the biggest sizes were small for me).

The rooms were crowded! I counted over 30 bunks in a room with no fans, no sockets and No proper ventilation. The bunks were so jammed together that I couldn’t walk straight between them (had to shuffle sideways). Of course the stench is palpable…! but after a while you get used to it.

Naturally you wonder how the toilets would look under the punishment of over 1000 men. You realise that it was a bad idea to check…they are overflowing with faeces, swarming with flies and breeding maggots. as your stomach heaves, you make a mental note not to give yourself a reason to ever get there again.

Just then the bugle sounds, and those who got there before you sing after it “your food is ready!” with Jesus Joy in your heart you proceed to the Kitchen, only to see that the meal is a dismal-looking beans mess sure to run your stomach. Remembering the toilet, you refuse to be the one who will “shot-putt”. The Learned Gentleman, the Barrister will not engage in “environmental confusion”.

By this time your feet are killing you- you’ve made countless trips to the hostel, spent money on useless little drinks and avoided people as much as you can.

As you drag yourself up the stairs, you are confronted with the shocking , disturbing sight of naked flesh, grown men with huge penises (you think the plural should be penii, after all the plural of radius is radii) dangling from bushy pelvises. The sheer the indignity of bathing outside and in the cold.

How on earth does this amount to serving the country?

The day ends with you dragging yourself into your creaking and shaking bunk, praying a collapsing bunk does not disturb your night any more than the sweltering heat will.

This is certainly not a gentleman’s affair. Ajuwaya!

PS: the images used above are NOT all my creation.

Peter

5 thoughts on “Otondo

  1. Lol.I remember camp experience, I still don't know whether to grade it as fun or torture.A mix of both I think.

  2. I have till sept to finish this scheme but m still praying for dem to scrape it….its totally useless and a waste of time. Doesnt add to the development of the youths in any way. Gowon needs to b flogged. We didn’t cause nor fight in d civil war….why did he have to punish us like this?!!!!!!. Nansence!!!!

    • In Gowon’s defence NYSC worked quite well until recent years. Corpers’ allowee made sense and it helped people integrate.

      It’s just that the scheme has been mismanaged!

  3. I can’t forget. I pretty much ignored a lot of people at the camp though. I was lucky enough to have like 5 old friends at the camp. Walked around with a novel and had my ears plugged. Made a few friends by the way.

    It wasn’t really an ordeal though, I was in the hostel in secondary school so it made me pretty much adaptable. Didn’t go near a toilet for almost two weeks – my intestines shut down till I found a toilet ‘clean enough’. Still, I couldn’t wait to get out and get done with the nonsense. Akwa Ibom is a nice place to serve in though

    • Oh you went to Akwa Ibom?

      I met a few friends from Law school, joined the OBS but my phone got stolen like a day after I posted this piece. I was so angry that when I got a chance to leave camp I took it.

      It wasn’t hard for me- I went to a Navy school and I have some Man O’War training.

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