Stella Dimoko Service Year Boulevard 106


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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Service Year Boulevard 106

Funny but serious!

Stella, my NYSC story is not funny at all, because I am still searching for a PPA even now, even though I tried to make a joke of many things in the story. It may seem boring to many people, but I have to be detailed in the story. Here we go:

I graduated from University of Calabar in December, 2015 but I had to wait for a very long time before I could be mobilized for NYSC. In fact, I was devastated when some of my mates from other departments left for NYSC immediately after their final exams and also in November last year. However, in April, this year , I couldn't make the Stream 1; despite registering on the first day (20th) and overcoming many obstacles to pay for my call up letter in the bank. 

It was just as if my own case was different; as I was staying at home and people were looking at me side eyes and murmuring that it's either I had problems in school or that I was not even a student let alone a graduate, lol! (You know that kind village thing.) Anyway, during the registration, I was given the option of four states to choose from. I wanted Lagos because of the rumored opportunities there. However, I was told that Lagos was filled up.

 I had to settle for Akwa Ibom, Kano, Delta and Kaduna States. My interest in Kaduna State was actually because of a Corps member friend from Kaduna State, who served in my local government and wanted me to come and experience life in the northern part of the country. 

However, just like many corps members in 2017 Batch A Stream 2, I spent many weeks waiting for my call up letter; as I was continually informed by my Dashboard that I would be told when to print my call up letter.. because I was not in Stream 1. At a point, I gave up and decided to live every day as I see it.I even wrote a novel, to add to my list of literary works awaiting for publication whenever I get the wherewithal. Nevertheless, the call up letter was released when I was no longer expecting it.

To my surprise, I was posted to Abuja.
Na who I sabi for Abuja? 

I have never been more confused in my life as I was when I printed my call up letter, because I have never been to Abuja, neither do I have relatives there. However,I was equally elated because of the rumored opportunities there. I started making preparations in earnest. Printing of call-up letter was on Friday, while we were expected to be in camp on Wednesday, 26th July, 2017. I left my hometown for Abuja on Tuesday 25th July and arrived NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Kubwa by 5pm that same day. I was checked in by the security personnel at the gate and was confined for three weeks. 

Camp was fun in a way. I met many interesting characters, especially a lady called Jacqueline and known for unconsciously asking: "Are you kidding me right now?" whenever the situation arose either in a conversation or during early morning meditations.

The State Coordinator of NYSC was nicknamed "Mr Supepe" for always singing "I am a Supepe..." whenever he made his entrance during SAED lectures. Even some of the soldiers were fun to be with. One was fond of saying: "There is no peace for the wicked," "Eleden na Ereden," "There is no 'please' in my dictionary," etc. Another soldier was nicknamed "Mamalawo and Babalawo" for referring to Corps members as such during parade. 

Nevertheless, I made use of any opportunity I could come across. I took part in some camp activities and was even the leader of a committee. However, I got to know later on that Abuja was a city that operates on connections, as many people had things going for them way too easily, while poor village folks like me came to count the "flyovers" in Abuja.
While many people were getting request letters from the organizations they wanted to be posted to, I had to console myself with the fact that I can fit in wherever I would be posted to. 

When we passed out from camp on Tuesday, 15th August, I was somewhat elated when I learnt from my posting letter that I was posted to Industrial Training Fund in Maitama.
I hitherto left my little luggage with the Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship
in the camp and rushed to the organization I was posted to. Pathetically, I was told that the Director General was attending a one week conference and that I should either wait till the close of work to see if he would check in, continue visiting every everyday to see if I can catch him in or check the following week.I opted to wait for him. When he didn't come back till the close of work, I had to return to the camp in the evening. People were leaving the camp in droves and the camp was now a ghost of itself. 

Only the beehive of activities in the NCCF showed that people were still in Kubwa camp. I had to sleep in the chapel with other stranded corps members, enduring the cold night and mosquito bites, because we were not allowed into their rooms; in order not to lick their well prepared pot of soup. In the morning, I left again for my PPA and was informed that the boss would not be in the office. In fact, I was graciously advised to check back on Monday next week, instead of wasting money on transportation (five hundred naira; to and fro). 

When I got back to the camp on that Thursday afternoon, I was really at a loss on what to do. To compound my problems, the corps member in charge of the chapel revealed that they would be embarking on an evangelical mission to Gwagwalada in the morning; tagged Rural Rugged and that they would lock up the chapel. I needed no one to tell me that I should either go with them or find accommodation elsewhere, since they would be leaving on Friday morning, to return on Sunday. Luckily, I read from the WhatsApp group I joined on camp that there was another family house in Nyanya and I had to leave on Friday morning for Nyanya; to stay with the National Association of Catholic Corpers.

 At the NACC in Nyanya, I was welcomed and I relaxed among the corps members I met there. I was given a run down of the rules in the lodge and I needed no one to tell me that the earlier I settled with my PPA and found my own accommodation, the better for me; because I was expected to register with the association for 3,500 naira, pay a monthly maintenance fee of 4,000 and then endure sharing a room with 8 people, aside cooking your own food. In fact, I set out in search of an accommodation within the vicinity because the lodge was simply a refugee camp to me, lol! 

Even though the effort came back unstuck, I was glad to have made a move. Nevertheless, I was not committed because I did not know what to expect from my PPA. The weekend was very boring as I was being checked for everything: ranging from how I dressed to what I was doing. I was not to put on shorts or anything that would expose any sensitive part of my body; in order not to lead others into temptation. (Which temptation? Eight people in a room? Where una go stay do the do? You go fear temptation na!) 

Anyway, Monday morning came and I left for my PPA. Another female corps member joined me in waiting for the boss. The boss could not show up till 1pm. I even dozed off. However, we were directed to the Accountant. After welcoming us and asking many unrelated questions, he rejected us...on the excuse that the organization was saturated with about 28 corps members, even when they hitherto had positions for only three. However, according to the Accountant, even the government was foot dragging in paying back the 10,000 naira the organization was paying Corps members, so the organization was left with no option than to start rejecting the corps members posted to them. 

The other corps member continued putting off the Accountant from signing the rejection letter and continued calling her contacts to press buttons. She was temporarily rewarded when a staffer came to whisper to the Accountant that a request letter for a corps member was sent to the organization and they both left to confirm. (So, all of a sudden, the organization was no longer saturated?) Me, na who I sabi? Akuko Mike Ejeagha. I jejely and nwanyoly collected my rejection letter, bade farewell to the few friends I made there and left for the zonal office; to submit my rejection letter. If there is anything I appreciate about the organization, it's their ability to allow connectionless corps members to use their elevator to come and collect their rejection letters on the 6th floor. We for die for the staircase. 

At the zonal office, I was asked if I had a request letter from any organization, I said no and proceeded to write the application letter for reposting. I was told to come back on Thursday for the new posting letter.
The days dragged on. I had nothing else to do than tolerate whatever I encountered in the Catholic Lodge.
Since corps members were expected to feed themselves, I was spending more than 1k everyday. My stomach ulcer became more peptic. The 19,800 naira I collected in camp was long gone and I had to swallow my pride to solicit help from home. 

When Thursday came, I left for the zonal office and waited from 7am to 9:52am before a staffer was able to issue me with my new posting letter.
I was posted to National Hospital this time around and I had doubts because I spent four years in the university studying English and Literary Studies and nothing pertaining to health. Anyway, I went all the same. No be national service I come do for Abuja? When I submitted my application letter to the Chief Medical Director's secretary, she told me to check back in an hour. I used the free time to bribe the worms in my stomach with roasted yam soaked in Abuja oil. I cannot come and die of hunger on top PPA matter. 

One hour later, I met the secretary and she simply told me that she was rejecting me. "On what excuse?" was what I wanted to know. She claimed that the place was full. I simply shrugged and left her.
I decided to check out the Daily Trust newspaper office in Utako because I learnt from a whatsapp group on Monday of the same week that they were conducting aptitude tests for corps members (though against Paragraph 14 of NYSC Posting Letter). Upon inquiry from a straggler on how to get to Utako from the National Hospital premises, he begged me for 200 naira to get to his own destination, since he claimed he was not paid for the job he went for; somewhere. It was Lagos all over again, but I wasn't bothered. Maybe it was Satan tempting me in my helplessness. I gave him the 200 naira, thanked him for his directions, waited thirty minutes for a cab and left for Utako. 

I had to walk most part of the way and was gratefully directed by some Muslim faithfuls. Never mind what you hear from some extremists, Hausa people are not as bad as they are painted. Anyway, I went to Daily Trust office on that eventful Thursday and was rejected too. (I hope someone is keeping record of the rejections. I need to have a witness when I start giving testimonies later, hallelujah!) The HR could not even allow me to relax a little and enjoy the AC, a respite from the scorching sun outside, 

before rejecting me. It seemed to me very odd and I reminded the man that I studied English and Literary Studies(just in case he was mistaking my course for Geology), but he told me that the organization had gotten the number they needed and that he has been rejecting even those who studied English and Mass Communication. I wanted to remind him that the organization recently accepted a corps member who studied Zoology, but I checked myself before he would ask me to pay for the AC I was enjoying in the fourth floor edifice. After all, as a Zoologist, he could even be drawing cartoons abi tattoos for them, wetin be my own? I left Daily Trust and was kindly told by the security man at the gate to check other newspapers. I left for This Day at Jabi and was told by the security man at the gate that I shouldn't waste my time asking for the organization to make use of my services and that I shouldn't waste my time. I told him on the contrary that I like wasting my time especially if only I can get what I want. 

After lecturing him on the benefits of allowing me to check first with the staff, I was allowed in. I met an office in disarray and a secretary munching a cob of corn. After laughing at me, pointing me out to her gossip mate, sizing me up and realizing that I was not there to ask her the name of her grandfather, she directed me to another man who was kind enough to explain to me that the Abuja office of This Day newspaper was attacked by the Boko Haram sect in December last year and was no longer operational and that the people I was seeing were only there for appearance sake. 

He directed me to Guardian newspaper and I left to try my luck. I couldn't meet the Bureau Chief and was told to check again the following day. I trekked to MKK Plaza to see an outsourcing firm and was told that a client needs corps members for the marketing of their products. I couldn't see myself trying to charm a bird off a tree, so I left for another media organization at Jahi, where I learnt from the friendly receptionist that corps members were being accepted in the organization. However, when my posting letter was taken to the HR, I was told that the place was full and was no longer accepting corps members. I dusted my behind, thanked the receptionist and made my way back to Nyanya. However, on getting to AYA, I was called by the receptionist that the HR wanted to see me (she got my contact from the visitor's register) and I had to make a detour. 

I waited for another one hour for the HR and he came in like the boss, harangued me for choosing Abuja as a choice state for my NYSC. Nothing I said mattered to him as he made it clear I was not welcomed in Abuja, the city of the rich. He kept asking related and unrelated questions and cutting short my answers and telling me off at the end of the day. However, the consolatory aspect of the interview conducted while standing on the entrance to the building was that there was nothing for me at the moment. 

Then why was I called back? He said he thought I could edit motion pictures. I told him I did 6 months training on Desktop Publishing and Data Processing, which obviously didn't please him. Even my revelation that I had enrolled in camp to be trained on Human Resources Management and Customer Service Relationship with a firm under SAED was a sin to his ears, so I was relieved when he asked me to leave. That was the last place I checked before leaving for the Catholic Corpers Lodge at Nyanya at 6pm. To make the day very in, a torrential rain broke out enroute Nyanya, causing a traffic congestion and wetting me as I alighted at Mopol Junction. 

Taking the he torrents of rejections into consideration, I made up my mind that Thursdaymorning to leave Abuja for the village the following morning on a two week unofficial leave; at least to hustle for money to rent an accommodation when I get back to Abuja. I know that I will get a PPA when I return. Fear the witches from your villages, but let me get ready for the service year....
So, in conclusion, I am still in search of a PPA two weeks after passing out of the NYSC Orientation Camp in Kubwa, Abuja.


'*I pray you find somewhere when you return because the Service year is nothing if one does not serve......


  1. Yippee SYB is here...

    Hoping WNB n OC wud show up as well.

    1. Hmm...his corper ur good! Believe me, with this blog n ur writing, u have gotten a ppa.

      I'm in d same shoes with u, Kano, no ppa yet n not able to travel cos popsy said I must settle ppa issue b4 he release money for traveling!

      Sis, it is well.
      Kano waaaa ooooo😍😍😍😍😍

  2. No be small thing for you, it is well.

  3. Are you related to Reuben Abati? Chineke! I couldn't read further.

  4. I cried and laughed while reading this. I hope someone from Abuja on this blog can help out. It saddens me that this country has lost all merit.

    1. Very bitter sweet experience. And he writes so well

  5. Abuja and rejection. You tried sef. I got just one rejection and I got frustrated and started calling home that I want to redeploy.

    I was rejected once. Didn't know you need to know someone to serve there.

    I later called home and I got plenty request letter. The first I went to, immediately I handed over the complimentary card, they started treating me like the President's daughter. Na so I just decide to stay there and enjoy my life for 1year since the person that recommended me is well respected.

    I pray you get a place when you come back.

    1. Same here, just one phone call and a letter I was accepted fast fast. Abeg abuja is not easy at all I just hope with this someone on this blog can assist you. I wish you all the best. abuja is fun if you have a good place to stay and a good PPA

  6. Just look for a school and serve...honestly u will love it...after d first rejection u would have gone home and rest...look for a public school that they close u can also do side hustle...sorry for the rejection corpers they suffer...wish u well

  7. Hahahahahahah i really enjoyed this piece, you are good with words and i hope wen our ministry move to the permanent site i pray sdk employs you. Hehehheheheheheh
    Look for a private school and teach English or English study na, leave this other organisation wey no want you and go where you would be appreciated.

    *hangs leg on the wall*

  8. Kpele..i enjoyed readinv through this..very thorouhh and well drtailrd.#bless..i was rejected at my PPA so i jejely stayed at home,wrote a letter addressing my state coordinator thru zonal inspector to allow me vouche without clearance.i enjoyed..pls dont kill urself jare

  9. Somebody will suffer and finish school, to serve will now be wahala.... Begging around to be accommodated, everything in Naija is suffer.... May God help you poster.... To me o... NYSC is a waste of money and time.

  10. I hope someone is keeping record of the rejections hahahahhahahaha!
    yes oh! I'm.
    Nothing good comes easily.
    Just be patient. you will get a better place.

    But wait oh, na becos say u be english Graduate u dey write big big grammer for us?

    next time try to communicate in a common language. most of us no finish school.

    You writes well dear.
    Abuja is a land of connection, "Godfatherism" and Nepotism.

  11. i am a supepe eh..supepe eh..
    corpers supepe....everybody
    *remove hair dress*
    lol..well,poster i am currently serving in abuja too and i...i can relate with your story..
    jacqlin always doing ..".are you kidding me?"....mami was lite.
    well,poster why not try NASS.....
    would love to know you..such a good writer.

    1. NASS is another option but he/she needs someone to give him a letter to go there.

      During my time, NASS took in all corp members that were rejected.

  12. As funny as this your story sounds, that's the reality we are faced with in this country. My Dear start honing your skills so even acquire one, cos this merry go round isn't helping your condition.

    Best wishes

  13. You write so well! wish you were in Lagos, you d serve in my company that I guarantee!....All the best in your search...3rd time commenting ...

    1. Wow! I love this piece. Corper wee...waa. Good luck. Just go to a public school,you will be accepted.

  14. Woow total of about 9 rejections including Initial choice of state,your Supposed stream and accommodation palaver...

    You Are really really Strong Dear 👍

    I pray you find somewhere 10 times better when you return from pacifying Your "village people".

  15. What a refreshing read.
    Love the way you play with words, and your sense of humour is simply amazing.
    You write beautifully and I pray that you get a place that you will explore your literally skills to the fullest!

  16. Abj bvs with connection I pray d Lord touches ur heart concerning this Kofa.......


  17. U write so well,am so impressed,u really went to school,kudos to ur family also... So many graduates cannot write well at all,sometimes I have serious headache reading NYSC posts,but I enjoyed reading yours. May God almighty break all protocols and connections to favor you with a place of assignment on your return in Jesus name,Amen

    1. Amen cos he deserves it, try go to punch papers somewhere in wuse cos they are in the same building with daily independent & one magazine like that. Try micofiance bank too & private schools

  18. Eyah! I so feel your pain...just look for a government school to teach, Abuja is for man no man, is not were you can easily get a place. And you write so well..i believe with all those places you were rejected they will still reconnect with you.

  19. Sorry about your plight. You write well. I did enjoy reading your chronicle despite having much work on my hand.

  20. Pele dear...God is ur muscle....pls try private schools when u get back...

  21. exactly try private schools am sure it will favor u. and they are trying in their pay here in Abj.good speed u hear

  22. Na wa o!
    To think I was seriously wishing to serve in Abuja. Smh

    1. My dear o.

      I don't want Abuja again o. Enugu, please take me away

  23. I must commend your writing skills, this is why Nigeria will never progress. Imagine the talent being rejected severally while some daft people are comfortably sitting in undeserving positions. I really hope you find a good place and alleluia to your testimony.

  24. And my friends company has been looking for a female Corper in Abuja to work with them, although the pay ain't much, it's a construction firm. But they really need a female corper,duno if the vacancy is still available,

  25. Lol. I stayed in corp members lodge nyanya 2009. You just said exactly but with time u will adjust sha.

  26. Lol, I enjoyed this, o boy you can write wella, I dint believe I finish this thing like novel kawai. Na you biko you really studied english.

  27. Babe sori ooo, but right now what u need is a PPA and not an accommodation.i read same course as u did n faced this kind of problem in warri till I was finally accepted in a public school;try going to a school Wen u get back my dear.kpele,manage ď NACC family house till u get a PPA cos at the end of the day ur PPA may b far from any accommodation u rush into getting now.Go home n eat good food then go back to ABJ and serve it fatherland

  28. You write so well!i had a mixed feeling reading this, it was worth my while. You should leave a forwarding contact and email address, you can never tell who may read this

  29. Wow! What an epistle . Well articulated, interesting, funny and at same time emotional. I pray that God who is the Way maker will connect you mightily in Jesus name Amen

  30. You write so well dear

  31. I thank you all for your comments,pieces of advice and prayers. God bless you all.

  32. Wow! You write so well,I wish you the best dear.


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