My NYSC Service Year in Retrospect

Today is my last day at My Place of Primary Assignment! Though I’ve actually ended service two weeks back..i decided doing some final finishing touches at The Nigerian Ports Authority – where I served as a corps member with the song ‘FLY’ by Nicki Minaj playing. Hmmm….it is exactly a year that I got my call-up letter from my University in which I saw my posting Cross-River. We had all received our various callus on that fateful day and I had kind of a positive perception towards the result of the letter (At least I wasn’t posted to the North!). Full of expectation I was few days to my flight wondering what new hopes and expectations the service year had for me. 8th of March came and I left Lagos at 4pm onboard a Aero-Contractor flight bound for Margaret Ekpo airport, Calabar. While onboard, I met two female corps members who remained my friends till even after the period. We touched down at 5pm and I just felt the lush of the environment all green, serene and very pleasant …in fact Calabar looked like it wasn’t in Nigeria anymore. This was shortlived when I got to the park heading to Obubra NYSC orientation camp. It took us 4 hours to get to our destination and you should imagine how famished we were by the time we arrived.

ORIENTATION CAMP
Our orientation camp was a makeshift one all thanks to the Niger-Delta militants undergoing Amnesty program at the permanent site. The name of the school we made do of was St Brendrens Catholic school, It was quite big and muddy with no water and worse of all – Poor toilets. I wondered how I was going to cope here for the next three weeks. The first few days was rough and I was praying my exit to be as soon as possible. The food was quite fair and the drillings by the army was stressing. We would be rudely awaken by a trumpet at 5am to gather up for devotion and thereafter start morning drillings. I was in platoon six and enjoyed every little time with friends av made almost immediately.
By the following week, I was getting used to the lifestyle there and began to enjoy life at Obubra..we observed trumpets call for Devotion at 5am, Breakfast at 9am, siesta at 12, drillings again at 4pm, one other one( I still don’t understand) at 6pm. The I military showed us perfect examples to be loyal and dedicated to one’s country and for once, I was proud of Nigeria J . In the evenings we went to Maami market to hangout, drink, crack jokes, make friends, chyk babes etc .. It was just wonderful, I made quite a number of friends that I don’t even remember some names – CJ , Yinka, Onyinye, Demola (Who later moved to Lagos), Yemi , Bayo and a whole lot of them .
After three weeks, it finally came to an end when we all collected our posting letters to our Places of Primary Assignment (PPA). Then we were more anxious than we were when we were collecting our call-ups. I was posted to Model Secondary School, Calabar It was quite emotional leaving friends and acquaintances you had spent the last 3 weeks with. But as we both know …LIFE GOES ON

BACK TO CALABAR
I left the Obubra orientation camp with mixed feelings and was conveyed by the Redeemed Christain Corpers Fellowship (RCCF) bus on 29th March, 2011 and got to Calabar by 8pm. The lodge is located in a serene estate in the metropolis and was quite a relief of the ‘hard life’ I had encountered at the camp.
By the next day, I had gotten to my PPA and prompted got rejected because they weren’t ready to meet with some terms of welfare. This was a norm as this afforded corps members the opportunity of searching for better deals atleast for the next 9 months. I later got to serve at the Nigerian Ports Authority – my getting it taught me a major lesson – It isn’t how far but how well.
The elections also took place around that time and I participated as a Polling Clerk. I then had to travel back to Lagos by road which is approximately 12hours by the end of April to get fully prepared for the next few months of my life.

RCCF BIBLE STUDY SECRETARY
Yes! Let it amaze you! I was appointed the Bible study secretary in May and it proved that God doesn’t choose the Qualified but rather qualifies the called. My work description included organizing the Bible study meetings on Wednesdays in which I missed only ONCE all through my tenure. I got so dedicated to it and it spurred my reading of not just the bible but other books as it entails being on your toes all the time. With God on my side, various topics were treated and I gained even more knowledge than others . I had the opportuinity of gaining the exposure to great teachers like Mensah Otabil, Myles Munroe, Bishop Oyedepo, Pastor Adeboye etc…I got to understand the bible as not just a spiritual book but a set of real life instructions that transcends all human motivations!
Finally handed over to my assistant and a partner-in-crime (As my Predecessor called her) – Lolade and I knew I could sit back and know people were impacted upon.

LIFE AS A CDS PRESIDENT
I was elected the President of the CDS i.e. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to be precise on 23rd September,2011. The CDS was to teach anti-corruption to all people in the society (I KNOW U’LL YIMU AT THIS POINT). Well, we tried sha ..
PRELUDE TO ELECTIONS
before the election i had serve as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) in which i had planned to runaway from other offices cos of the stress they had put my Predeccessor thru even me sef. I remember he had warned me of the ‘conspiracy’ by the members to make me President and if i liked mysef i shudnt b at dere on d election day. But as God will have it the Election was ‘Unfortunately’ moved backward and i was d victim (Now u can cry for me). i won the election without campaign.
Starting
i started with an EXCOs meeting and told them the vision we wud be running with. i said ‘YOU WILL BE ON UR TOES’.
I promised they wud all work hard (The Excos almost killed my Predecessor with work during his tenure), cos me i don’t want to die young…#shikena. I promised them leadership by example. we got the tenure started and everyone was reminded of the work they had to do and the need for discipline.

THE TENURE
unlike other CDS groups in Nigeria, i decided we had meetings only once a month ( CLAP FOR ME NAU) cos i get bored with meetings and besides what are we gon b saying every week? also, i dedicated two Fridays for visitations to Secondary schools and the 1st Friday for *whispering* SLEEPING. As long as the results came – thats all that matters.
They also shud submit their CDS cards to the Tomilola the Gen sec (i wud talk about her later) cos i was starting to get tired of fone calls and even confrontations in my DREAMS (YES!!!). sure that is y i’m still alive.
COMMON EXCUSES FOR NOT ATTENDING MEETINGS
This is a very interesting part, i had directed them to text the Provost cos i had gotten tired of so many fone calls on that but they wud still need to call me. here are some classic examples.
1.) On Thursdays i receive a fone call from a female wu wud start coughing, crying or even moaning in most cases complaining of tooth, stomach,head,leg pain. In order not to prolong issues i’ll grant them permission (But God sees all of u).
2.) A guy can call and go for his convocation like 5 times in a tenure IMAGINE!!!!
3.) ‘I’m the only person at work so i can’t be at the meeting’
4.) My bank isn’t releasing me’ – That actually annoys me cos they know ur a corp member.*mschewww*
5.)’I’m going to church’
6.) Worse of all, “i have menstrual pain”.
My Leadership style
I decided to be very nice but stringent at the same time. Everyone had the chance to meaningful suggestions. But i also outline my BIG PLANS. Made them feel among. Checked on my excos and members randomly. Particular was found of Tomilola who was my General Secretary and we remained close friends after service year *winks* I had a P.A. who is the Asst. Gen Sec.(Yes..to reduce my work noni), Her name – Tumi. Respected all members of the cds and they gave me that back in return.
Lessons learnt..
1.)U don’t need to make noise before people know u can deliver – i was hardly talking at meetings and never rebellious to the former regime..(Ask them o).
2.) Think big, Act small.
3.) Respect is reciprocal.
4.) People don’t care aw much u know, they want to know aw much u care abt them.
5.) Communicate ur visions, they’ll follow
Hmmm….longstory, but let me cut it short Made lots of friends, learnt a lot of field experiences of leadership that can’t be taught. I finally handed over in February, 2012 to another set of purpose-driven individuals and I still remain their mentor and still find time to advise them accordingly…

In all I feel I had the greatest service year!

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