When I was on camp, I heard a devastated report of two collapsed bridges on June 4 and June 11 respectively after downpour in Bokani village along Makera Tegina Road and Tatabu village, both in Niger State, linking the two parts of the country, Southwestern and Northern Nigeria together. Semantically, it was like God answered our prayers not to pass through blood river road again (Birnin Gwari) to Kwara State. Psychologically, it was very disheartened for motorists to pass that axis, only to follow another longitudinal links to their various destinations.
On Tuesday 13 June, 2018, I packed my luggage, channeled through Offa garage in Zamfara. I met Corps members like me willing to go to Offa but the driver told us the only alternative routes was through Kaduna – Abuja – Kogi – Ekiti State – Ekiti Kwara – Offa.
Just to cut my story short, we took off in Zamfara around 9:00am and landed in Offa around 3:00am in the midnight, that was during Ramadan period. Very roughly journey but Alhamdulillah, we arrived safely.
In the following day, I boarded a cab to Osun State, submitted my Relocation approval at NYSC Secretariat in Osun State. I pleaded to choose ‘Okuku Grammar School’ as my place of primary assignment (PPA), they told me to come back in the next two weeks.
Two weeks clocked, I went to Osogbo with my brother OBASANJO, when I collected my Posting letter, SALVATION ARMY MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 OSOGBO appeared. I thought it wasn’t a right choice for me until I went there, I saw how it was, including the structures and I loved the environment.
I submitted my posting letter to the vice principal Salvation Army middle which she gave me monthly clearance to fill and undertaking as well and stamped. I also submitted my Medical leave on the injured I got on my left knee which Doctor said I needed Plaster of Paris (POP) on it which they never hesitate to grant my request. I asked of accommodation and transport fee primly stated on my posting letter to give corps members at PPAs, they replied that they are not going to provide accommodation for us, we are going find it by ourselves but I said, it was clearly stated on the letter and if PPA can’t why did they put it there, NYSC needs to strike it out for proper transparency. I remembered NYSC Anthem Stanza III “far and near we come to serve, and to build our fatherland, with oneness and loyalty, NYSC for unity, hail Nigeria our great Nation, “I succumbed.
He walked to me where I stood, MUIBI RUKAYAT’S father “this is my daughter, what is your name?” I replied “YASIN.” “From which State?” I replied “Kwara State.” She was also in front of the vice principal, filling – filing her papers. I also saw ENYIUKWU CHARITY filling -filing her papers too but because of delay, I, Rukayat and Charity supposed to go to Osogbo Local Government, Oja Oba together, Rukayat left in haste, I and Charity went together to Oja Oba. During that time, Charity told me NYSC first posted her to Borno State, because of Boko Haram insurgency in that State, they later told them to apply for relocation which she was relocated to Osun State.
We entered Osogbo Secretariat and met lots of Corps members willing for documentations. During the time of documentation, I met FOLASHAYO ADELEKE, she wasn’t too tall with light skin, always smiling to every sentence I made, we exchanged our telexes, very lovely whiteer teeth and cute. I was given a file to put all my papers including photocopies, I was placed on SDGs as my Community Development Service (CDS) group. During that processing, I introduced my MEDICAL REPORT protesting for MEDICAL LEAVE, Assistant Local Government Inspector told me to write an application letter for medical leave and in that letter, I should indicate the time that medical leave would last, date month and year, also the time I will report back to the Local Government which I did but before they can fully grant my request, I should take my application letter to my PPA for stamp and return it back to the Local Government which I did, she forwarded it to the appropriate authority and took my leave.
Three days later, which was during our monthly clearance, I descended from Offa to Osogbo for PV signing. I was with CRUTCHES after POP, corps members were eyeing me and they quickly gave a space for my signing which I did without any delay. FOLASHAYO ADELEKE saw me again, “Oh, My Gosh! What happened Yasin, you were not with crutches last time we met, did you got an accident?” I Replied “no but the leg has been disturbing me for long and doctor said, to let the pains go away, I needed to plaster it, nothing more.” Are you joking or you wanted to stay at home for a while or attend program that you shouldn’t miss? “Asked ADELEKE. “Not at all my sister, this isn’t a joking matter or wedding party, what I told you was real,” I replied. ” eeeyya, sorry ee, God will heal you,” said ADELEKE. AYOBAMIDELE BLESSING IRANLOWO also called to condole with me couple of times, because of my hearsay, she requested for the picture of my cemented leg which I concurred. She is a very much natural caring soul and a woman with swell happiness in the future. There is no way I wanna talk – write my history without mentioning her name.
After I spent 8 to 9 weeks at home, I finally returned to my Place of Primary Assignment (PPA), I secured an accommodation in a place not very far to the school. My first day in school, I met corps members queuing to get their subjects to teach. Because of my business at home and I don’t want to teach a subject that would pin me down, I asked them to give me Islamic Religion Studies (IRS) which they did. On the queuing, I met YAHAYA YUNUS, Ex Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto student, Yunus read Islamic Studies and was given the same subject of mine, (IRS) likewise MUIBI RUKAYAT. Rukayat and Yunus were taking grade 7 and grade 8, I was taking grade 5. Salvation Army Middle School as the name implies is a school that started from Primary 5 to JSS 3 which was tagged as grades. Grade 5 is Primary 5, grade 6 is primary 6, grade 7 is JSS 1, grade 8 is JSS 2 and grade 9 is JSS 3 respectively.
At the place I was living, I was the only guy surrounded by 4 ladies; EMAIKWU MERCY, SOWUNMI OLOLADE, OLALEYE JUNNULAT ABIOLA and NWAEMEKA ADEOBI. I and MERCY were very much closer than others because she was the reason I got the house after I was introduced to her by my big brother ANISOBI STANLEY. I enjoyed living with them till last day.
Talking of my beautiful moments in Osogbo, I can’t deny the best group, this group love impacting knowledge on people, he leads others follow, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is the group I fell for. My first day in CDS, I was acknowledged by the President and members. We embarked on numerous achievement and visitations; visitation to the first lady of the State (seek her support on our project), sensitization to Salvation Army Middle School, ( discussed on goal 3 of SDGs (good health and wellbeing plus goal 4 ( Quality Education), visitation to Oluwo of Iwo land ( seek his support on our project), the group did a zebra crossing for a Government School at Oke Bale, went to St Charles (discussed on goal 2 (Zero hunger) and goal 6, also went for adventure at Ilesha where State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was present, the same group did a workshop which we launched SDGs magazine and SDGs T-shirts, kudos to former SDGs’ President, OLALERE SODIQ BAYONLE, lot of achievements, lot of glories.
For the time I spent in Salvation Army Middle School, I can’t halt not to talks of my cronies, crushing, fun inside out, lover birds, comedians, twins, intelligent, once in a week / month, worker oleic, superior, and ‘niggas’. With them, I enjoyed salvation more than my day. MUIBI RUKAYAT, talked on fact, acted wisely, very straight forward and cool heart. AREMU TITILOPE was among, blue band friend of Rukayat, like cassava flower and water. YAYAH YUNUS, Sheikh Yunus, ‘awan Oman geri alim’ he was my bonded pal, they always called us twins. MUHAMMAD HALIMAH, a witty woman, lots of knowledge and lean to people, always amaze me with her gift. Talked HALIMAH without ADAMU IBRAHIM never complete, they were like Romeo and Juliet in school, anywhere you go, I go like MTN, What you drink I drink, eat and others, very closer to be called lovers. BELLO RASHIDAT, we loved calling her ‘IYA YORUBA‘ because she was teaching Yoruba. IDOWU YEMISI, OLATUNJI TOMILADE AND TAIWO BIMPER were like Trinity, like snail and shell ‘Bi igbin bafa ikaraun atele.’ ADISA SULIYAT KEMI popularly known as ‘IYA LAJE,’ a business tycoon, a hawker with magnetic voice at the time of patronization, always saluting her because of her vibrant personality. MONDAY, EVIDENCE among others, missed you guys because of faith.
My service year can best be described as a ‘bounded task to fulfill in a year.’ I passed through hardship especially in my PPA, a school that was dominated by mothers, ruled like a military era, you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, they were like lions, roaring every time. They created disgusted rules even primary 4 student can’t fall for that but they have forgotten that “Vulture is a patient bird,” one day, I’m gonna leave the gardening of hell and find my way to the heaven. I was suffocated, very annoyed on how they treated corps members, corpers were like slaves to them, used us, at the end, dumped – freed us with no acknowledged, no recognitions or recommendations, it was because they were prevailed on us but God is prevail on them, may God do the same to their children. I never relent or break on they did to me and other corps members, I did what I could for my students and I was rewarded with their everyday smiles and praises that was enough for me.
Before I dash to another track, someone deserves some accolades, MRS OWODUNI, if we have a mother like her, world would be a better place for me and you. MRS OWODUNI took me like her son since my school refused to see through us, she backed -barked when it’s needed, I can’t Skip without rewind to the moment we shared in Salvation Army middle School, she was my deity and god mother, really miss you ma’am.
Slopping to the time of our POP, approaching the last lap of my service year, that week was filled with activities, we did our last monthly clearance, collected our ‘OSUN KOPA MAGAZINE filled with pictures of Corps members and memories for both Batch A Stream One and Two’ that we paid for, LGI told us to report to Ede camp every day which attendance would be taking, failure to do so would render punishment. We glued our week with Dinner and Award night that was organised by SDGs’ group. On our POP date, Our Batch ‘B’ stream Two had done their POP on December 21st, 2017 and NYSC announced our own via letters sent to various Local Government inspectors (LGIs) that our POP would be April 12, 2018.
On that notice, Our LGI gave us Form 2B to fill and acknowledged by our PPA, return it together with final clearance duly signed by the school management. The school adamant not to do sendoff for us, I was also told, that was how they always do for corps members served in the school, what a cruelty! Bulk of loonies humans! No sendoff, no group pictures, no gifts, nothing, and someone said it’s one of the best, it’s a ‘WORSTEST‘ school on earth.
On the day, April 12, 2018, our POP day, I was on NYSC Crested vest, NYSC Crested Cap, a pair of jungle boot with socks. I dashed out to NYSC Ede camp, we were assembled on the parade ground, after passing out parade and the speech by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye Tomori, we Usain Bolted to queue for our NYSC certificate, I collected my certificate and I was elated, overwhelmed with the fulfillment. I took pictures with my friends, dropped farewell messages and sailed down home. I left Osogbo in the following day, I arrived safely and glorified to Almighty Allah for his abundant blessings on us. That closed the chapter of being a Corp member once in a life time and that also brought me to the end of my longitudinal service year.
YASIN OLAWUMI recently finished National Youth Service, NYSC OSUN STATE.