Current Issues

As We Go To The Polls…

The long awaited and already once postponed general election comes up tomorrow, 28th March, 2015. This General election has been on gear for over a year now and Nigeria has more or less been at war with itself this past year over the elections. As a result, the International community has come to the (hopefully?) erroneous conclusion that we’re set to explode.

Before the polls open, there are things you should know.

You might be surprised to know that there are 14 presidential candidates total in this election but everybody knows that this election is really between two candidates – the current President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDPand General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

President Goodluck With Mr Buhari at the peace accord meeting yesterday.
President Goodluck With Mr Buhari at the peace accord meeting yesterday.

The elections campaign has been based on nothing more than personality smear debate between the ruling party and the opposition beyond the level ever seen in Nigerian politics – newspaper ads, tv ads, sting documantaries on tv and the internet. Even viral videos on social networks especially whatsapp and bbm. These documentaries only serve the purpose of misinforming and distracting from the real issues at hand.

The Jonathan administration promise us transformation and continuity. Buhari promise to fight corruption and insecurity but they don’t say how. I’ve hardly ever heard Buhari speak since he’s declined media chats and never appeared for any presidential debates

Who is missing in this photo?
The Presidential Debate. Who is missing in this photo?

but he has somehow managed to champion his campaign on corruption and insecurity by sticking the Jonathan administration with corruption and insecurity of lives and property.Infact, Buhari seems to have one answer for every question. He found a way of linking everything to corruption and insecurity. Everything from the economy to security, agriculture, National Assembly, foreign policy, health and education he reduced into a vague answer of security and corruption.

That’s why I found this post hilarious and true.

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And something else you don’t know again – he, Pa Buhari was 72 on his last birthday. Like my colleague asked, “Does he want a state burial?”

I believe Nigerians have determined that Goodluck has character despite his poor response to the rescue of the Chibok girls. Don’t say that to the opposition. They have it written on stone that he is “clueless”. The worst part of this whole matter is that despite my reservations about Buhari, they’re both cut from the same cloth. Both parties have the same agenda of “no-agenda” seeing as they’re mixbloods of rejects. But better the devil you know , huh?

And don’t let us bring up Buhari’s link with the Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram. That issue is more of the smear campaign or is it?

Anyways, tomorrow will tell. It’ll be here before we know it.

#VOTENOTFIGHT
#VOTENOTFIGHT

See you on the morrow.

Camp Affairs, Current Issues, The Future

Camp’s almost over!!!

The 3-weeks NYSC orientation course would run it’s full course on Monday, 25th May ending with the passing out parade.

It has been an all-round education starting with the physical aspect. Waking up at 3am daily and going to bed after 10pm with a lot of activities in-between is not an easy thing to get used to but I did. I’ve had to do a lot of physical stuff I’ve never done before and will probably never need after camp, used muscles I never knew I had in the first place, woken up aching all over from the previous day’s activities and doing it all over again.

Apart from the morning drills and the parade rehearsals, I joined the volleyball team and also trained for the 100 meters dash. Even though I didn’t qualify for the 100 meters dash and my team lost it’s first and only volleyball game, I’m glad to be involved in something physical.

Another interesting aspect of camp was the skills acquisition and entrepreneurial development program. You get to learn a wide range of skills ranging from construction, agriculture, fashion and design, cosmetology and ICT. I joined the bead jewelry making group and the custom bags group too. It’s been wonderful. I’m proud of what I’ve learnt.

I also love the interaction between people from various ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. You have to see that from the context of a country that has over 250 ethnic groups whose members wear their membership like a badge with differing levels of entitlement and antagonism.

The least interesting is the series of lectures. In two weeks, there’s been over 20 of them. Right now I’m in one. Something to do with drugs and other forms of stimulant. Not all of them are as boring as this but it’s tiring having 5 lectures cramped into 4 hours in this high noon heat.

Camp has been fun and now that it’s coming to an end, it isn’t so regimented. Not that the Camp Commandant would agree with my assessment.

I’m looking forward to camp fire night tomorrow Friday. It’s been promised to be fun!!! 

Camp Affairs, The Future

It’s been a crazy few days

It’s very easy to be idle here in camp and also very easy to be occupied. It’s been a crazy activity-filled few days.

There are lots of classes and lectures and drill and training. I’ve chosen only two to keep me occupied – joining the volleyball team and taking a beading class. My team has a match this afternoon in two hours so keep your prayers for us, ok?

The beading class is really going well and I’ve seen some improvement in just a few days. You’ll be the first to see an actually finished work.

Monday we had the Man O’ War training in full khakis. I only managed to use one apparatus.
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And that’s me climbing the rope ladder. I did take photos of others using other apparatuses.

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The swinging rope (monkey rope)

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You guess what she's doing
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Another attempt on the swinging rope
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Rope fence

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Crossing the rope bridge.

I’ll see you after my game. Hopefully. If we win.

Camp Affairs

About face

I think I’m reversing my previous comment about enjoying camp. I’m enduring it.

Who wouldn’t after having to give one hundred triple hunches? Don’t Ask me what that means. And under the 90° high noon sun for that matter and then having to stoop with your toes only and listen to how unruly and undisciplined you were.

Apparently the Camp Commandant was absent and we were previously being pampered. Now he’s back and the music has changed. But not like I expected.

I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

Camp Affairs

I swear: NYSC Oath of Allegiance

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NYSC

In pursuance of our Aspiration to build a United, Peaceful, Prosperous, Hate-free, Egalitarian Society and a great Nation and of our motto “Service and Humility”.
I UMEH, MAUREEN OGECHUKWU
Member of the National Youth Service Corps 2015
Hereby pledge to follow at all the times the leadership of those in Authority irrespective of their social and educational background and in particular, I shall:
(a)  At all times and in all places think, act, regard myself and speak first as a Nigerian, before anything else;
(b) Be proud of the fatherland, appreciate and cherish the culture, the tradition, arts and language of the nation;
(c) Be prepared to serve honestly, faithfully and if need be, pay the supreme sacrifice for the fatherland;
(d) Be well-informed about the history, geography, economy and the resources of Nigeria;
(e) Regard fellow Nigerians as my brothers and sisters and myself as my brother’s keeper;
(f) Have a healthy attitude to work and play. I shall not only be ready to work in any part of the country to which I am deployed, but also genuinely identify myself with the problems and aspirations of the people of the area in which I work;
(g) Tackle difficulties and challenges in a disciplined and self-reliant manner, constitutionally pursuing grievances and properly channeling such for redress;
(h) See myself as a leader who must give effective leadership by my transparent, honest and selfless service; (i) Detest and shun bribery and all forms of corruption and nepotism;
(j) Be courteous and polite to all and sundry;
(k) Be obedient without being slavish;
(l) Always remember the motto and strive continuously to live up to the ideals of the National Youth Service Corps during and after my service year.
So help me God: AMEN
SWORN TO BEFORE THE CHIEF JUDGE OF EKITI STATE OF NIGERIA AT THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE
CORPS ORIENTATION
CAMP ISE-ORUN/EMURE-EKITI
EKITI STATE
THIS SEVENTH DAY OF
MAY 2015

(Chief Judge of Ekiti State)

Camp Affairs, The Future

Now that we’re corps members

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Sea of orange boots

The swearing in ceremony yesterday has confirmed us as bona fide corps members of the republic. Now we’re full government’s (via the military) bitches. They feed us, cloth us, dictate to us and basically own our asses. That may be hard to adjust especially when you’re to report for morning parade before it’s 5pm. But like they say, life in the camp is regimented.

There are loudspeakers and CCTV cameras all around the camp. Makes me imagine what the Communist societies would have looked like back in the day or George Orwell’s society in

Nineteen Eighty-Four

with Big Brother watching all the time.

There are lots of rules to start with but they don’t seem so hard once you get into the camp life frame of mind. The drills are what I’m having a problem with right now. I hurt all over but I know that too will soon pass.

It may get harder tomorrow. I can already see the Man O’ War instructors setting up their training apparatuses. May God help us. We need it.

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Evening drills

Camp State of Mind. 

Camp Affairs, The Future

On the third day of…

It’s my third day of camp and I’m starting to look forward to enjoying my stay here. This is a classic case of hoping for the best and expecting the worse but what I’ve got is something in-between and I’m very Ok with that.

There’s electricity most of the time even if there’s no provision for charging your phones and devices in the hostels. You have to pay in the camp market to charge them.

The bathroom/toilet area is not as bad as I envisioned. It’s definitely better than boarding school days. You still gotta bath outside in open-air corrugated sheets enclosed area with about 11 other people at a time. You don’t wanna know what I expected if this is cool with me.

I’m yet to put up my mosquito net because there’s surprisingly been no mosquitoes the past two nights. I’ve had more peaceful albeit shorter sleep two nights in a row. Maybe it’s the cool weather. It’s get as low as 76° here at night as opposed to the upper 90s we had back at home.

The swearing in ceremony is about to commence with the State governor presiding over the conferring of honours by the state judge making us officially corper.

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First look

The Future

The Morning After

It’s just lights on at 5am and I’ve already been up 90 minutes getting prepared. I’m already at the registration center either a hundred other people for the registration that doesn’t start till 7am earliest with more still trooping out of the dorms.

I’m yet to see the camp in daylight but what I’ve seen what comes to mind is immense. So, we’re just sitting in the registration hall waiting for the day to commence for us late arrivals while the early campers are getting ready for the morning parade.

I think I can do without the parade for another day. :D:D