On our way to the State Coordinator’s office the Commandant asked me why I didn’t tell him my uncle was so, so and so. In my mind I asked why he kicked me out rudely. Our little discussion gave me some sort of hope and hope only it was. The State Coordinator explained to us that there was nothing she could, citing some funny reason I can’t remember. Something like the other part of my call up letter is in Abuja blah blah blah and that if it was just the original call up letter I had she would have allowed me into the camp. Like I said I can’t remember, after all I was made to understand I couldn’t join my original batch and I should go back to my school for remobilization.
Now the worst had happened, I wasn’t going to serve in Bayelsa. I said thank you to the woman and the Captain. The Captain asked me where I was going and I told him Port Harcourt to stay with my friend before heading to Lagos. He told me it was late (it was 6.30pm) and that I could stay in his room till the next morning before I started my journey. I was shocked but I smiled declining the offer and asked him if I could just stay in the hostel since I had friends there and he said okay asking me to promise him I wouldn’t leave that evening. I gave him my word.
I called my family to tell them the situation of things and my mum asked me when I was coming home. I told her I would love to spend the whole of the next day with my friend in Port Harcourt so she should be expecting me the day after. She said okay and told me to be careful. I called my friend and he was like my result had arrived and he would be bringing it the next morning. I told him not to bother and also explained to him I wouldn’t be needing it (at least at that period) because I will have to remobilize. He asked if I was coming to his place before leaving for Lagos and I said yes.
I called one of my friends in the camp to find out where she was and she said Mammy market, she described where she was. As I marched towards Mammy one of my friends cornered me and he asked how far. I told him I would be joining the next batch and I asked him to follow me to Mammy to meet my other friend and besides I was starving. He told me I wouldn’t like the food in Mammy. He put it to me like this “dem no dey chop pepper for Bayelsa”. I laughed thinking it was a joke until the babe I went to meet confirmed it. What was I to eat? Lacasera and gala? The babe asked how far with my issue and I explained what the Coordinator said to her and she also sang the usual eeya chorus. As the three of us sat down to gist because I had resigned my faith to taking Lacasera and gala a woman screamed at one of her boys in Yoruba “Sunday o de gbe obe ata yen wa” (Sunday bring that peppered stew). I smiled and walked up to her, saying madam “se obe yin ni ata gidi?” (Does your stew have correct pepper in it?). She said yes and I asked her to give me rice with ponmo, beef and turkey (yes I love food). After the meal I had 3 bottles of small stout while my friends had same amount but instead of stout they took malt. We left the market at 9.45pm.
As I got on to the bed I said to myself waiting for another 3 months before going for NYSC is not something I am looking forward to but I didn’t have a choice. The next morning the Otondos (Corpers) were woken by a bell at 4.30am but I wasn’t bothered after all I wasn’t an Otondo at the time. The room I slept in was soon empty with just me left in it. A soldier poured water on me asking me to join the others. I told him point blank I wasn’t going and that I was leaving the camp once it got bright. He dragged me and I pushed him (wondering where my liver came from) telling him we should go to the Commandant. He reluctantly obliged. When we got to the Captain’s room the dude told him all that happened and boy was I glad he didn’t lie. The Commandant looked at me and said you again and I told him I wanted the day to get bright before leaving for Port Harcourt. He told me to go and get my stuff and stay in his room till then because if I was in the hostel and anything gets missing I would be the 1st suspect. Was he really being nice to me? Wonder what my uncle told him on the phone (I said in my mind). I went to get my bag and came back to continue my sleep in the Captain’s room. At 7.45am my alarm woke me so I could listen to Sports Express on cool fm (my favourite sports programme and the only reason I listened to the radio).
I left the camp for good at about 8.30am for Port Harcourt. It was an hour and thirty minutes journey and luckily for me my friend wasn’t working that day so we got gisting about school and life generally, we saw a couple of movies, played football and after resting for a bit, we showered and we went to a joint to down the green and black bottles with correct goat meat pepper soup. I hadn’t learnt my lessons right? Abeg I no get any documents wey dem go steal again except the new statement of result. Duncan Mighty truly is Port Harcourt’s first son. His song was played every now and then while we were at the joint. We left for my friend’s quarters at about 12.45am.
I left Port Harcourt for Lagos that morning and my sweet mother was at the airport to get me, loved this woman pieces, still do (rest on mum). Life had to go on and as for my missing documents they were never recovered but I retrieved almost all back from the various institutions except for my WAEC result. The WAEC people claimed they couldn’t issue more than one certificate. Three weeks later(the orientation camp was over), my friend called me from Bayelsa and she told me all corpers were handed a life jacket because they would all have to get to their places of primary assignment by boat. If you remember in part 1 I said GOD had other plans for me. The reason the Bayelsa posting failed was I wasn’t a big fan of boat rides. Sadly a friend died in Bayelsa, he drowned. May his soul continue to rest in perfect peace (Amen).
Thank y’all for reading and I hope I have not bored you with this epistle? Please drop comments and share. You can also follow me on twitter @theswizzmemoirs/@dipoogun.