Monthly Archives: November 2014

Diary of a Corper | Page 2

Diary of a Corper: NYSC, Ebola and other things

I remember going to check the postings at the board behind the Students Affairs building after a wonderful night with Alien Nation UI. Ikechi’s covenant was explosive! Very creative performances from start to finish; I had a good time there. After the program, my friends and I strolled to the board still discussing how great the dancers were, we got to the board and I saw GB against my name, I wanted to jump up and say ‘Ope ooo, I was posted to Great Britain’ when my friend told me “Na Gombe you dey”. What? Nooooooo! Talk about bursting bubbles!

I have no problem with the distance; I just spent the past year in Nassarawa. What I have a problem with is being a Corper in the North in the year 2015! In the words of Sir Patrick Obahiagbon, “it is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind; the trappings of war that herald the coming of 2015 general elections.” I would not want to be in a place where I don’t understand the language and shit starts going down. It would be a huge and pleasant surprise if the 2015 elections are not violent. I would rather be in the south, west or east, if we don’t speak Yoruba, we would converse in Pidgin, not only would you not be caught flat footed when the shit hits the fan, you’ll be closer to home.

Also, Gombe shares borders with Bauchi, Yobe, Borno (Boko Haram HQ), Adamawa and Taraba. The three states where a state of Emergency was declared are Yobe, Borno and Adamawa and Gombe is squat in the middle of all three. Jesus is Lord my people.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall not be afraid.
For thou art with me, thy rod and staff, they comfort me.

I’m still redeploying o. join me in prayers. If members of the Armed forces die needlessly and nothing happens, I don’t see anyone but my friends and family making a fuss if shit happens. This is the reality of the country we live in. I will serve my country but I will not serve up my life for her. She will be alright.

Do you know that NYSC itself didn’t see the sense in organizing the three week orientation camp inside Gombe? They arranged for us to have camp in Benue and then proceed to Gombe for the service year. They don’t think it’s safe! And they want us to go in. well that was the plan until *drum roll please*

Ebola came in like a wrecking ball
Well crafted plans discarded like a broken doll
I won’t lie; the tin pain me, no be small.
But I’ll roll with it, albeit like a punctured ball.

According to the NYSC website, we are to proceed to Benue where we have just 8 days to complete registration and receive further instructions. I don’t like it at all! I hope and pray it won’t affect redeployment sha. More pertinently though is the fact that this blasted disease has robbed me, my children and their children of something, something very vital. When my hair has grayed and my friends and I try to make our grand children laugh by regaling them with tales, I won’t have any camp stories to share. After my friends have shared theirs, my grand children would look at me with pleading eyes “what about you grandpa?” My response would be Ebola! Chai! Ebola has done a grave thing and because of this, it must die by fire.
Every power of Ebola, threatening this country, what are you waiting for? Die by fire! Die! Die! Die! Die!
Wish me safe journey. *winks*

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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Diary of a Corper


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Diary of a Corper |Page 1

First things first, you’re welcome to My diary. I have never kept one before, so if I break any rules, please point out My errors to me. This is a very late post. It was written in August but got stuck in the pipeline. I think it’s a good way to begin and that is why I didn’t write a new one. May this adventure last. Thank you Ifeoluwa NihinOla for your  ramblings and Walter for your #DearDiary posts.

Here we go!

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Diary of a Corper: End of an Era
I resumed at my current place of employment on the 1st of May having returned to Lagos during the Easter Celebrations. The last year was spent in the beautiful city of Keffi in Nassarawa and I didn’t keep a diary; I just wanted to breeze in and out – which I did, but now wish I didn’t but what’s done is done.

I missed out on the Batch A set of the NYSC program because I had not yet completed my internship which meant I had 3 months to wait for the Batch B. three months of doing nothing would be very bad for me so I located my CV and ‘hit the streets’ and look for a locum position to pass the time. I went out with just two copies as I had earmarked two pharmacies to be blessed with my presence.

When I got to the first one, they rolled out the red carpet and welcomed a don as paparazzi hovered around trying to get a shot of Donsally I spoke to the Head of the Human Resources Department who also served as the Principal Pharmacist, Head of Clinical Services, Managing Director and CEO and as I later found out, head of Finance too. The conversation wasn’t long, in five minutes I had a job and all we had to do was negotiate an agreeable pay. We did and I started the next week.

When I left the place, I couldn’t help but think “Just like that?” I thanked God for his favor and grace which I have been enjoying for a very long time. My life it seems has been coated and adorned with the grace of God for as long as I can remember; it’s like I walk in a cloud of grace and pillars of grace.

Now, unemployment is a very big deal in Nigeria, we don’t have accurate statistics to portray how bad it really is, I surmise it would be between 70-90% which is quite dire. I should have you note however that there are no unemployed doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc. The healthcare professionals are always employed. We may not be rich, but we will always be employed. I don’t know if the same applies for dentists, physiotherapists and others in Nigeria but their odds are still better than most. The point I’m trying to make is this; the primary reason we get educated is not really to make the world a better place – that’s a resultant effect. The reason we study and hustle hard is to get paid!

Whatever you study in school that can’t guarantee a roof over your head, food on your table and an end-of-the-month-bank-alert-induced smile isn’t enough. Money is not everything, but it’s a sizeable percentage. And in fairness, what do you want to do with everything?

If you have a sibling or friend that you reckon has the aptitude, intelligence and disposition to study any of the courses in the Health sciences, advise them to. That way, their future would be as secure as it can be.

One of my editors back in the day – Akindele Opeyemi, would often say something when people read his brilliant poems or get wowed by his formidable literary skills and say “You’re in the wrong field, how can you be this good and be studying pharmacy?” He would respond by saying “I can be a pharmacist and still be a writer, speaker, actor, an artist, a fashion designer, a business man etc. but you cannot be all that and be a pharmacist.” This is what I meant by securing your future. Studying any of the health sciences (especially pharmacy) places you on a pedestal and gives you options without denying you pay. You have the option of pursuing your dreams without going broke. You can even use it to bankroll the pursuit of happiness.

For instance, I know a pharmacist who is a world class graphic designer (Tolu Lawson of Keys Media), I know some who bake beautiful cakes, one who designs very creative fashion apparels (Muyo of Xtrime wears), another who is a great poet and public speaker (Bunmi Oke), a couple that write wonderfully well, nationally popular models (Kene Diobi), a world class Events organizer (Agbomeji Olamide), Millinery experts (Tosin Akinniranye of Excidix), Journalists (Tolu Ogunlesi of the BBC) and this is just the University of Ibadan alone. All these guys are world beaters! Real hustlers! Who have long nuked their comfort zones, they are on the high seas, making a difference! Making history! Pharmacy hasn’t stopped them, it has helped them! *drops the mic*

I resigned at my current place of employment on August 30, 2014. Grateful for the opportunity to learn and to serve, to put to practice the words of the oath I swore as I was inducted into the profession. It was a great experience and I believe I am a better man for it. With this in mind, join me as I pop champagne to the end of an era.

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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Maiden

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