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|How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Chriswazo(m): 5:39pm On Oct 14, 2016|
How NYSC changed my view of the North
by Nnaemeka Anyiam, July 04, 2013 at 12:00 am in Campus Life FacebookTwitterSMSWhatsApp
“If Nigeria is to make rapid progress on all fronts internally, and if she’s to make her mark on the continent of Africa, and, indeed, in the comity of nations, her youths must be fully mobilised and be prepared to offer willingly and without asking for rewards in return, their best in the service of their nation at all times,” Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, said during the inauguration of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on June 4, 1973.
Prior to being mobilised for the National Youth Service, I used to think of horrific experiences I would go through during my service year. Fresh from the furnace, which higher institution campuses can be called, a graduate is made to live with yet another people from different cultural backgrounds with a meagre stipend and no accommodation.
I got the impression that the scheme was a post-civil war panacea for reuniting the country. Well, our leaders caused the civil war but why are they disturbing my life by asking me to heal the wound they had caused? So I thought. When I was younger, I really hoped that events and government in Nigeria would abolish this mandatory service before it got to my turn.
Today, however, I write this piece as a Corps member and a willing participant in a scheme I once wished should be abolished. And it is amazing that I discovered the beauty of the scheme just in my first few months of active service to my fatherland.
When I was posted to Zamfara State, it took me time to get over the trauma. After I got my call-up letter, I sat on a fence for hours, ruing what had befallen me. With growing insecurity in the North, I had thought I was going for a journey of no return. But was it funny? My colleagues, who got posted to relatively peaceful parts of the country, mocked me, as though it was all planned.
Some of them pitied me and said sweet words to douse my fear. The thought of redeployment came to mind. Friends asked me to feign incurable ailment just to get out of Zamfara State after the three-week orientation.
Hitherto, I had been told the story of Zamfara and its strict Sharia Legal system during the administration of Governor Ahmad Yerima. We heard stories of amputation as punishment for even mild offences. Since I could not change the posting immediately, I left for the state with open mind. It was when I got to the state that I knew all the stories we heard in the South were actually exaggerated.
In the orientation camp, dance and drama competitions held for Corps members brought together people of various tribes of the country to foster unity. I heard languages I never thought existed; names I could never pronounce. We discussed issues ranging from insecurity and corruption and it was surprising to see my fellow Corps members condemning evil. Our daily activities in the camp always started with a Muslim and Christian prayer and this shows that we are one people indivisible by religion or ethnicity.
We were privileged to have top government officials, including the Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, and the NYSC State Co-ordinator, Mrs Ruth Bakka, to educate us on the state and its people. The Emir stated clearly that Sharia was to guide Muslims on their religious path and thus was not binding on non-Muslims. He said Christians are free to go about their normal business without fear of molestation whatsoever but should dress decently and respect the law of the land.
In Southern part, we have different opinion of the North. We were told that places such as Zamfara State belong to Siberia given its low level of education and its culture, which is believed to be brutish and ordinary.
We were told that Hausa girls don’t go to school. But I was stunned to see over 3,000 girls in a secondary school in Samaru struggling to get education. In camp, I met Muslim girls, who graduated with better grades than many of us from the South. They all wore Hijabs (veil), which were neatly tucked in.
I also found that the average Hausa man is trustworthy and down-to-earth. When he tells you it is N10 gaskiya (truth), so it is. Tell a motorcyclist that you are stranded and he will be glad to help you to where you are going.
At the place of my primary assignment (PPA), senior officials would make tea in a cold morning and share among the staff; even the gatemen would use cups from the Oga’s office. But Ogas in the south are to be feared from afar. One’s effort to learn Hausa language is instantly rewarded with slashed prices of commodities.
When I was posted to my PPA in Kaura Namoda and I lost my way, I was directed to the lodge of Muslim Corps members, where I was fed and attended to regardless of my religious affiliation. This selfless service to has constantly been rendered by the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF), Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN), Catholic Corpers Association and the likes. These organisations are made up of Nigerians helping Nigerians regardless of tribe or tongue. This is one of the dividends of the NYSC scheme.
I am now confident that the scheme is steadily achieving its objective, which is “to inculcate in Nigerian youths the spirit of selfless service to the community and to emphasise the spirit of oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians, irrespective of cultural or social background.”
Serving in Zamfara State has afforded me a lot of opportunities I would not have had if I remained in my Eastern zone. At least, I have experienced Zamfara for myself and can now separate fact from fiction. The state is peaceful and friendly. You are appreciated as a Corps member.
The state even has good amusement park when my Imo State cannot boast of one. I have seen their religious practices and I can now compare with mine. I have seen their flaws and I now know how I can help. I have understood that you don’t judge people or any entity from afar; you must come closer, live amongst them and you will be amazed at how much you did not know.
More importantly, I have seen that we are all the same people and can exist as one; you as a Christian and I as a Muslim, life will still go on. Our cultural and religious differences are simply variety, which we all know are spices of life. There is really no need for the hate anyone because of his tongue, background or faith.
Nnaemeka is a Corps member, NYSC GUSAU
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Chriswazo(m): 5:41pm On Oct 14, 2016|
A properly unbiased write up.
129 Likes 10 Shares
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by borntosuccess(m): 5:53pm On Oct 14, 2016|
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by abdeiz(m): 6:21pm On Oct 14, 2016|
Op what a brilliant piece of writing, so unbiased and truthful.
67 Likes 1 Share
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by acenazt: 6:25pm On Oct 14, 2016|
Yet some people will still see the north from the Lies they hear. Beautiful write up op
74 Likes 1 Share
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by ims80s(m): 6:55pm On Oct 14, 2016|
Nice one I serve in zamfara too
22 Likes 1 Share
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Nobody: 8:08pm On Oct 14, 2016|
This was a really good read although I'm still skeptical on visiting the Northern region. I've been to Katsina in the past, the president's very own village precisely. I enjoyed the place during my one week stay and found the people friendly but kept at the back of my mind it was only a matter of time before anything could happen. I remember very well it started like a joke when we heard religious crises happened in 2010 or so and wiped off healthy nysc serving corpers. What do their families have to show for their struggle now apart from tears and meagre compensation from the then serving administration? Better safe than sorry I'd always say.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Chriswazo(m): 6:32am On Oct 15, 2016|
charix:That not withstanding, i understand your position towards them, we should always keep a wary eye wherever we see ourselves.
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by oweniwe(m): 7:40am On Oct 15, 2016|
They made you comfortable cos you're a corper. Try staying behind after Nysc.... Nobody will beg you to run
All the people calling me names should take note of the Shiite massacre ongoing. You don't have to offend anybody. If you rent a house and your landlord is shiite, they will come and scattered your properties for nothing.
My friend in Katsina said she hasn't been able to go out for days now cos of their senseless fights. Just look at this topic and pics.. .
Hoodlums Vandalise Cars Of Secretary Of Kaduna Contractors 4 Being A Shitte
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Chriswazo(m): 12:06pm On Oct 15, 2016|
Lol, what will they do if am not a corper? chop up my head? Lol. Bro I lived there, so i don't believe you.
65 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Feanah(f): 2:12pm On Oct 15, 2016|
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by oweniwe(m): 3:27pm On Oct 15, 2016|
You will have to start living like them... Dress like them and adhere to their religious routines if you wish to remain there after Nysc.
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Chriswazo(m): 3:55pm On Oct 15, 2016|
that's not true sir, all you need is to understand and respect their culture and religion values. This is not general in some circumstances, i have stayed with Hausa guys that are very liberal with their lifestyles just like us in the East, they have girlfriends, night club and very good at drinking beer. I quite understand some other environments don't permit a rather liberal way of life but are extremely reserved.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by LuvU2(f): 8:54pm On Oct 15, 2016|
Wow I know right. All those talks about north being a dead zone re all exxagerations; if not lies.
Those guys re one of the best people to live with i tell u
Lalasticlala this deserves fp for real
21 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Nobody: 6:47am On Oct 16, 2016|
maybe I should show my uncle who lost his all during one their crisis how friendly they are.
17 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Danielmann(m): 9:33pm On Oct 16, 2016|
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by SalomonKane: 9:36pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I also served in the north. It was a hell of an experience because I totally enjoyed every bit of it.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by LordIsaac(m): 9:37pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Chriswazo:But there were people who came to the same North and are not alive today. The most recent was the pastor's wife who was murdered. So my brother, your view is not absolute. Just thank God you weren't a victim of illiteracy and fanatiscm!
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by LordIsaac(m): 9:37pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Chriswazo:But there are people who came to the same North and are not alive today. The most recent was the pastor's wife who was murdered. So my brother, your view is not absolute. Just thank God you weren't a victim of illiteracy and fanatiscm!
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by fippycbk(m): 9:38pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I was always of the opinion that NYSC should be scrapped but after Serving in Akwa Ibom, I realised what the scheme was really about.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by joey150(m): 9:38pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Trying to score cheap points for the north?
I can only agree with you if you choose ro remain there for a year after service.
Pray you don't be in the mix when another completely differnt eastern guy provoke them..your head is likely to follow when they run amok.
But still....there are still good people there. But its not all flowers and roses as you are trying to paint for us. To them you are like one foreigner so they still hold you in high regard.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Sealeddeal(m): 9:39pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I am in the North of Nigeria presently. OP made it sound like things are as simple as they're down south.
Granted that there are a lot of good things in the North likewise the south,so also are bad things there like south too.
it is an exaggeration when the OP claim that children in the North are attending classes in high number. Did he take time to check many places in his state of reference? To the extent I am aware of,i want to state that all is not well with Education in Core Northern States and that's the greatest challenge in there. There is a high illiteracy rate in North.
And as a Youth corp member, your perception of north will surely be different because they actually respect and love Corp members. North is a serious society.
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by babyfaceafrica: 9:39pm On Oct 16, 2016|
WinningSun:you can stay in the south and lose all you have too...things happens...no be only north wahala dey...millitansts for SS,kidnapping for SE ,ritual for SW...no where is safe ....God help us
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by babyfaceafrica: 9:40pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Northerners are generally honest and friendly and they can smoke shisha and pipe..chai...I fear those people...dey don't really drink like that but love women die...my advisse to anyoe who wants to visit north is to go to the soji ones like kano,kaduna,niger,abuja and jos.......all dose jigawa,sokoto ,gombe and kebbi too dry abeg
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by eneez(m): 9:40pm On Oct 16, 2016|
even if they share money everyday, I still won't go. They are nice people buh living in their land and by their laws?? God forbid
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by victorVIC1(m): 9:40pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I also served in the North...But I have a contrary opinion as I experienced first hand how they killed a pastor for no just reason. I also almost lost my life but God kept me. If I hear say I no fear North
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|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Nobody: 9:41pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Oga you try ooo God forbid make I serve for that boko haram republic
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by hobermener: 9:42pm On Oct 16, 2016|
SPENDING SOME COUPLE MONTHS IN THE NORTH AS A YOUTH CORP MEMBER FROM THE SOUTH, AND GROWING UP IN THE NORTH AS A SOUTHERNER ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS TRUST ME.
DUDE BONE " ONE NIJERIYA", JUST FEAR NORTH!!!!!!
30 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Nobody: 9:43pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I know a neighbor who lost her son during service in kaduna, that you went to a good place, you should be grateful to God
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by Nobody: 9:43pm On Oct 16, 2016|
I've never been to the north or experience their way of life so I can't judge
2 Likes 1 Share
|Re: How NYSC Changed My View Of The North. by goldtooth: 9:43pm On Oct 16, 2016|
Wow for me this piece brings back memories. Memories of camp at Tsafe and how cold it was that November when i was called to camp. I remember i saw camels for the first time in Zamfara and climbed on one to snap pics. When camel dey get up, and you dey on top, you need to get mind . I remember visiting the palace of the Emir of tsafe, I remember climbing a rock for endurance trek. I remember camp fire night and how much fun we had, i remember how some ladies started crying when the PPA letters were given out. I was posted to talata mafara LGA. And yes i remember my life was spared in fatal accident that left the driver and the front passenger( A lecturer at kaura Namoda polytechnic ) dead on the spot. Zamfara for me was bitter sweet. It is a place i will never forget
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