In Nigeria, All graduates of universities and polytechnics are required to go on a mandatory paramilitary service to the nation for one year. This is NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS. Its mostly termed NYSC. Its importance in Nigeria, can be likened to that of a degree certificate.
In the service year, youths are posted to states that are different to the state of their origin and also of their school; with the exception of those who are married or physically challenged who get posted to where they want, on presenting the required documents. The Youth Service program has been lauded by many as a tool of unity amongst youths in the country; but it has also been criticised, especially in view of members who lost their lives in the year of service due to religious and tribal wars which the country is often plagued with. The most recent is that of a member kidnapped in northern Nigeria; but the one I can’t forget is that of a member who was murdered in day light at the nation’s capital, Abuja; while working as a trainee journalist in CHANNELS TV last year. On watching the video, I can still remember how his mother wept and lamented of her son’s unquenchable thirst for journalism, which eventually led to his sad demise.
Well then; having been due for this since January 2019 but due to red tapism and excessive bureaucracy, I am now going for it by 2020. I have been in the highest gear of anticipation and enthusiasm. I had graduated from University of Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria; and was posted to Ondo State, Western Nigeria. Apart from the former capital of the nation, Lagos State; I’ve never been anywhere in the Western part of the country. It was now I saw why most people greeted the program with criticism.
The one year NYSC program comprises of a three week orientation period in a military controlled camp. After which, corp members are then posted to various primary place of assignment (PPA) within the state.
Well (smiles), I am due for it now; and my orientation period is to start by Tuesday, but because of the huge amount of people that would be there on Tuesday; I will be leaving Port Harcourt on Monday. Since the estimated time of arrival from Port Harcourt to Ondo is eight hours by road. I am partly filled with enthusiasm and anxiety due to uncertainty. The culture difference, maybe weather difference, difference in ideas are a thing I look forward to; I enjoy travelling. But then, in a nation where our safety is often at risk due to tribal affiliations. One would fear, which is more reason why Southern Nigerians avoid or fear going to Northern parts of the country.
This my little speech should be an introductory one; as I’d make sure you get filled on in the happenings in an NYSC orientation camp. I would be creating a new category so whatever you missed, you can be able to peep in and view. I am sire it’d be a nice one.
By the way, if you have any tips under your sleeves on how to survive in a strange land. Do know that my comment box is open. So do well to also share knowledge. I and many other persons would be grateful