” One of the things I always had in mind during and after my NYSC was the thought of putting my experiences on paper. Almost everyday for a period of over 3 months, I have continued to pour out lines upon lines of thoughts, towards telling a compelling story. However, before letting the cat out of the bag, I have opted to share my very last piece and official hand-over note as the Corps Liaison Officer of my NYSC Batch. I hope every reader enjoys my short note, in anticipation for my memoirs which I’ve titled; Tests, Temptations and Triumphs; my 11 months NYSC Journey. Please do well to drop a comment after reading.
As I Take a Bow
It feels just like yesterday remembering that day in February when my NYSC sojourn in Oyo took a different turn. Just like every other person, I had come to CDS to mark attendance, but I left having more than I bargained for. I won’t pretend that I didn’t see the appointment coming, but as usual I had shrugged it off, even though some other corpers (especially at my PPA and lodge) had made it a habit of calling me CLO. However, when the reality struck, I froze in shock as the LGI mentioned my name; ADEBIYI was all I heard as deafening sounds rented the air, while I took a few minutes to send my mind on a journey and my smile into retirement (I planted a firm grin on my face).
Fast forward all that till today and all I would say is; “It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.” I have had the experience of a life-time working as the CLO for the 2012/2013 NYSC set in Oyo-West Local Government. It’s been an awesome privilege working with our wonderful LGI (Miss R.A Bakare), my team of Excos (Yemi Lawal, Edeh Martins, Adejuyigbe Taiwo and Ajala Temitope) and the various corps members that supported our tenure, both as friends (Tayo-Ojabo, Kunle, Eric, Bimpe) and as members of the committees (Education, Sports/Social, Project). I would also extend special appreciation to the CDI (Mr Durosaro aka Esin), for his unparalleled support- without him, I would have been a fish lost in the sea of local government bureaucracy- Everytime I wonder what it really would have been if I didn’t have these people behind me. The yorubas would say “Eniyan laso wa- People are our clothes-” and to this I must affirm Yes! Without these people, I would have been naked.
I came to Oyo with a very sad face, watching as all my friends rejoiced at being posted to Ibadan, while I was left trying to pick out the jaw-breaking name of my PPA “Ladigbolu.” For a good part of last year, travelling to Lagos was the easiest way to console myself. Occasionally I would attend conferences, launchings and other events in Lagos, with fun-trips as well, hurrying to Oyo to ensure that my V.P did not tag me as irresponsible, or the LGI become aware of my trips. Once my name was called as the CLO, I knew my game was up; no more travelling. Till date I can say that I travelled more times in September than I did for the entire period of February-May. I must confess that I do not have any regrets whatsoever on my reduced trips. Everytime I look back at what we were able to achieve as a team in this tenure, all I do is to smile and give glory to God for the grace to serve.
I make boast to say with all humility though, that we had more programs this term than the two previous terms I met. Taking time to get feedback after every program has shown that although many corps members had initial scepticism about some of the programs, they still enjoyed it. I remember the initial reaction we got when we announced the film-show, or should I mention the pessimism that greeted the thoughts of the cultural day. Going by the reaction of the house, we may never have held such programs, but thank God we did. If I were to pick the best CDS I’ve had as the CLO, I must say it would differ from what many people think. This CDS was an outdoor one and for once I could see clearly what the word “IMPACT” meant. For once I could raise a banner for the continuation of NYSC, for once I could move from a “stressed frown” to a “joyous mood” in seconds. This program was the Aba-Mogaji deep-well project. Seeing those villagers dance was sheer joy to me and those memories would remain etched in the primest of spots in my brain. Although, the joy of seeing Ladigbolu come first at the Inter-school Quiz was second, it still ranks miles away from the joy I felt at Mogaji.
Through it all, I must say it’s been an upward, pleasurable, remarking albeit challenging walk I’ve had, but as I take a bow today, I must say “ABEG!!! I thank the Lord.” NYSC should/will never die. God bless Oyo-West NYSC, God bless Nigerian youths and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. AMEN!!!
Adebiyi Oluseyi Akano (30th May, 2013)
CLO – NYSC Oyo-West
Batch B 2012/2013 set