Friday the 4th of March
Wow!!! It is Day 2 in Naij and all I can say is Thank You LORD. Things have gone quite well so far. I also thank my mom who wisely advised that I take with me at least one extra top just in case I had to spend a night in Abuja. I honestly thought I was gonna get my registration all sorted right there and then (yesterday) but mehn, nothing could have prepared me for the shocker I received at the office. It is Friday morning and I’m still in Abuja. I still have not registered.
Without mincing words with me, I was told there was no way I could register for NYSC so late. Registration ended on the 25th of February and there is no way they would break the rule for me. As soon as I heard that, I wanted to start weeping. I think I actually shed a tear or two. This was not just one small omo boy speaking. This was a whole director telling me there is no way forward and I have to register for the July
set batch. As a woman of faith, I kept praying, speaking in tongues and reminding God that this is not the deal He and I struck before I left England. I was sent on some arodan trip within the NYSC office, from 1st floor to 5th floor, to 3rd floor and back to 1st floor and guess what?…They have no lift/elevator!!! I must have lost a bit of weight because my skinny jeans are not so skinny anymore.
I started praying, making calls frantically, begging my parents to call everyone they knew to help me. Eventually, God raised help and I was allowed to register due to my special extenuating circumstances. SIDENOTE: I’m so impressed with Nigeria and the fact that they stuck to the rules though it almost affected me adversely.
Anyways, in glee, I rushed off to Hajia’s office to register. She asked me in her cute Hausa accent, ‘do you have all your documents?’. ‘Yes ma’, I responded, excitedly bending my knees in respect, eager to show her that though I have been in England for so long, I have not lost my good upbringing and hoping that would score me a brownie point with her.
‘Passport?’, I gave her. ‘SCCE certificate?’, I handed it over. I even gave her my NECO as jara. ‘First degree certificate?’, I passed it over. ‘First degree transcript?’ Shoot!!! I had forgotten it in my luggage in Lagos. My face said it all. Instantly, she said, ‘There is no way I’m going to register you without your transcript!’. OMD!!! What to do? After coming this far only to get turned away because of transcript!!!
I quickly sent a text to my mom (by the way: communication is not beans in this country ooo!!! I can’t tell you how much I have spent on credit. So what I do now is send BB messages, text or flash. I only call if the situation is CRITICAL. I’ll soon readjust). My mom searched for my transcript and found it and got it scanned to my email. By the time I had it printed at Nwachukwu House, it was already 4pm. If you know anything about the civil service here in Nigeria, it is that they close on the dot of 4. I rushed over to Yakubu Gowon House and almost got knocked over by a cab. To my utter dismay, Hajia was gone and had locked her office!!! So that is how Thursday ended. The good thing is that I now know I will be registered. I just hope they do not insist on my original transcript today.
10:00 am Friday (NYSC Office)
The department in charge is yet to open…
I’m beginning to bite my nails.
There she is!
Ok, I got registered and I’m so thankful to God. The not so exciting news is that I have been asked to come back on Monday for my Call up letter! It does not make sense on any level for me to go to Lagos and fly back to Abuja so I’m going to stay at another family friend’s in Abuja because my uncle’s family had to travel. Abuja is deadish for me because I don’t really know people here. Plus, wearing the same clothes for 2 days does not really encourage you to go out.
I’m at family friend’s at Apo Quarters. I got the key off her at her office then we drove her to the airport because she was to spend the weekend in Lagos. The driver dropped me at home and showed me how to use everything. On our way to the house I asked to be taken to where I can buy food. He then took me to one local-ish looking place in the quarters. I had a good mind of saying ‘let’s go back’ but something just told me to keep walking in. They didn’t display prices but I was willing to spend up to 700-1k max because I wanted a treat and given the semi-localness of the place, I thought the food will be max 500 naira. So I asked for jollof rice, 2 pieces of beef, dodo and 1 snail (yes I know I’m a long throat, lol). They dished the food in a take-away pack, did the sum total and to my utter dismay, it came to 2,170 naira. I was in a state of shock. What the heck?! People were behind me so I had to compose myself, bring out the money and sharply leave with my food. The food was good sha so it was a bit of a consolation.
So that’s how Friday has been. This is hoping the weekend will be better…
…to be continued