Olatunde was the only child of Iyadunni alias the waterside Mama. Iyadunni lost her husband some years back and since then, she has been a single mother foraging for Olatunde. Finance was the heart of her struggles seeing Olatunde through Primary to Tertiary education. Iyadunni cried a river when she heard she would no longer see her son for quite a long time as a result of National Youth Service (NYSC). Olatunde was always compared by friends to a soldier who went to war without his armour but only his name, yes Olatunde went to camp without a penny believing the Government would take charge. One faithful afternoon, a no less faithful Corper Olatunde sat outside under the scorching sun wandering how far he has come under the umbrella of serving his country Nigeria.
He thought of the ordeal situation in camp, where officials maradonically play wings of corruption from Preparing of Meals to the extreme Medical Department where every illness has one prescription “Paracetamol and Vitamin C. Olatunde knows full well, they who fail to kick corrupt practices on the face are they themselves corrupt and so one beautiful day, which happens to be two days prior to leaving camp, he called one of the officials and told him, he knows about the bribe they collect from corps members for P.P.A but what would be the hope of the common man if they continue in such act? And the official retorted, your curiosity would be answered via your posting letter! Olatunde became confused like a rabbit whose holes are all covered.
Finally, after the parade, he saw the deep sex frustration had with the sky on the face of the Corps members which gave birth to confused clouds as those on merit had broken expectation while the others sang in jubilee. But when he saw his, indeed his question was answered thus; there is no hope for the common man in OKOROBIAPUTA Primary School Interior North Anambara State. He realised his transport to his PPA was twice his Allawee. He had to lend from a fellow corps member to get there only to find out, 1. They don’t pay 2. No accommodation 3. Transportation 800 naira everyday 4. Job description: Sweeping and the worse of it he has to report every day. He flashed back to the Jargons on the NYSC PPA letter and smiled at the lacuna. In summary he concluded, the 19800 is only a ticket to his death and the NYSC Cert would be his Death Cert on his funeral.
Two months has passed, Olatunde is now psychologically and emotionally ill and the doctor in his mind said, the cure could only be provided by the Government called “Abolishment of National Youth Service”. Olatunde worked for four months with debts hanging all over his neck like an ornament of pride with hope of they increasing Allawee as though Militants do nothing but earn more than Corpers, these placed his mind in a state of dilemma between being a Corper or a Militant. Which is more honourable?
On the fifth month, Olatunde woke up one morning, brushed his teeth, bathed, dressed his bed, wore is uniform, sipped the last grain of garri, lent transport to work, swept the office, paused for a while reminiscing his life after here and the tears on his mother’s face when he was leaving. At noon he swept again before coming back home, on reaching home he left a note by his leg which says, ” The School and NYSC is a Scam” after that, he laid on the bed and died a silent death. They took him shoulders high with his casket decorated With his Uniform and National flag and while resounding shots imprisoned the atmosphere, I screemed Alas, this is the death of a Government Child.
Written by: Ikoromasoma, Emmanuel
Ikoros Mindset: Nonfiction
I am from Rivers State and a native of Okirika. I attended New Era Brilliant College Borikiri, graduated of Rivers State University Port Harcourt were i studied Office and Information Management. I did a certificate program in Uniport in the Department of Theatre and film Studies. I love writing, dancing, and sport. I fell in love with poetry in my secondary school days and ever since poetry has changed my life.
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