I remember the day I graduated from University with my bachelor’s degree. I was so ready to get off with my life. I’ve always been told that education is my key to the future and I was ready to get on with it, but first we must clear this thing called NYSC.
NYSC, the National Youth Service Corps is a program instituted in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild Nigeria after the civil war. It requires every Nigerian graduate that intends to work in Nigeria to serve the country for one year with minimal pay. In this year, each corper (as they are called) is posted to a town, village or city in the country where they will be assigned a job typically based on their skill set, but not all the time.
For a lot of us young graduates it’s a waste of time, but hey, in the grand scheme of things, one year wont hurt, right?
After the 3 week camp I was posted to Suleja, Niger State, and although I had never been there, I was quite excited to experience a part of Nigeria that I don’t think I would normally get to experience.
This is the year of elections and with that comes opportunities to make some extra cash working at INEC offices and being involved with the tasks that needed to be executed for a successful and fair election process. Why not? I get to make an impact and make some extra money at it. It’s not like they are paying me a lot anyways. N9,000 a month is not what anyone can survive on in this country.
Senatorial elections are being held tomorrow and I had enlisted to work at one of the polling stations. I woke up today feeling very funky with myself. I brushed my teeth, and got ready while listening to Fela. Fela’s music always puts me a great mood. I’m in a much better mood because it’s Friday and it’s the end of what has been a pretty rough week. Even though I’m going to work tomorrow, I still plan on enjoying my Friday night by touching a few joints here and there around town with my friends. Plus the idea of making some extra money tomorrow and being involved in elections gets me pretty excited. After all the future is ours, and what better way to get involved than to be hands on at the poll.
The day was going on ok so far and it was getting towards the end of the day… About that time to report to the local INEC office to check my name and find out what poll I’m assigned to for tomorrow’s elections.
I called Momsy and Popsy just to talk small. My mom’s always telling me to careful… “you know it’s election period,..” As every other person would probably say, “ah mommy, nothing dey happen. I’ll be fine.” I buzzed my babe, to see how she’s doing. I haven’t seen her in weeks, and we miss each other a lot… I’m thinking of visiting her once these elections are over. I sent a text to my brother and sisters just to say hail small…. We do it every Friday. These days my elder sister sounds like momsy with all her advice. It’s all out of love I’m sure.
I got to the INEC office and exchanged greetings with the familiar faces. Regular tings you know… checked my name to see where I’m posted to and just decided to stay small and gist. I’m not in any rush anyways. Time still dey. We were there just gisting, laughing and cracking jokes when all of a sudden, I hear a loud explo………………..
Disclaimer: This is purely fictional and any relation to a real life person is purely coincidental. I figured it hits home a little bit more when you feel like the corpers that died are actually people, and not just numbers thrown out in the news. That this can really happen to anyone of us, our brothers, or our sisters.
This is dedicated to all NYSC corpers that died either in Suleja, Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, and anywhere else where there was electoral violence. RIP to all the NYSC corpers that lost their lives during the election period for no reason other than serving their country. They are in my opinion the true national heroes of this election period.