Yesterday, April 7, 2017 was the Passing Out Parade (POP) for 2016 NYSC members. And our one of our very own, Franklin Onwubiko (Publisher of www.franklinonwubiko.com), was among the discharged corps members. Franklin is a graduate of Mass Communication from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He launched his blog, www.franklinonwubiko.com last year, and has since been growing in readership. He was also one of the founding contributors to Alutanews when it was still in print. A truly hardworking and humble young man. Alutanews celebrates him today, and wishes him greater moments ahead. Read his service-year testimony below:
“The end of another chapter. This journey commenced on April 27, 2016. When it dawned on me that I was going to Katsina state, I felt the world was crashing but I braced up for the challenge ahead.
I’ve heard and read so much about the North, the killings, bombings, sharia Law and all that added to my trepidation. There was nothing that could be done at that point. Even if I was to redeploy, I was still going to participate in the 3 weeks camping. It was actually my first time of going to that part of the country.
Few days to the day I was to leave for Katsina, I quickly ran to the hospital for medical report. I tried all I could to ensure I was redeployed back to the East. Dad was so worried as he did his possible best to bring back his first son back home. In fact one of my contacts, called 3 days to the end of camping activities to inform me that the redeployment has been settled and I’ll be heading straight to Delta state after camp. I was so sure I was leaving for East that fateful day, I boasted to my friends. I got the shocker of my life that morning as my redeployment didn’t work out. It was then it dawned on me that I wasn’t leaving Katsina at least not soonest.
I had to accept my fate and headed straight to Daura. It wasn’t a rosy ride at all. I was posted to a girls school. Communication became an issue as majority of the inhabitants hardly understand English including the students. They will always say “Baa Turenchi” (I don’t understand English). It didn’t take up to a week, I made an Hausa friend who sells water and drinks just opposite my Place of primary assignment. His name is Musbahu.
Musbahu, I must say till today became more than a brother. Musbahu became what my people would put as “Nwanne no na mba” (A brother in a strange land). When I go broke, this young Hausa dude would not hesitate to lend me some cash. He would sell on credit and would even go as far as dashing stuffs to me. He made me see life in another angle. He’s a friend I will never forget in my life.
The month of August became nightmarish as my students finished their Junior Waec in July so I was practically idle for a whole 30 days. I cursed NYSC for making me such an idle ass unlike me. I was almost losing it cos there was nothing to keep me busy in the President’s home town. I kept counting seconds, minutes, hours, days, months wishing and praying for April 2017 to come.
I ran for the post of president of my CDS, Editorial Club which I won. My paddy, MacDonald also emerged president of same club in the Katsina town. This platform gave me an opportunity to test my leadership ability which turned out great. Together with my EXCOs, we were able to achieve a lot despite being stalled by paucity of funds. We organized quiz competitions among secondary schools, engaged in charity work as we clothed and fed over 50 almajiri kids. It was a great opportunity which I still cherish till tomorrow.
This programme also afforded me the opportunity to excel in my new found love- Blogging. I became more committed in dishing information “as e dey hot”. Whenever I ponder over my consistency at least for the past 6 months, It gives me great joy. It’s one thing to blog and another to be consistent. Very tasking but God’s grace was sufficient.
Unlike me, I became very committed in the Choir department. RCCF is one family I would not forget in a haste. God transformed my life and continuously had his eyes on me. I hardly go for choir rehearsals back in the East but I can count the number of times I skipped rehearsals in Daura. Most often, when I travelled. In fact I always prayed for Sunday to come so I can praise God almighty with the keyboard. Pastor Agbele Olugbenga was a father who was always on the look out for his sheep. God bless you sir.
Moving round the school on a particular day, I was moved to pity when I saw students sitting on the floor during lectures. It became a burden and I set out to at least ameliorate the plights of these students. It was a herculean task but I was determined cos I know God brought me to Daura for a purpose. I felt that was part of the purpose he brought me so I was determined to solve the pressing need. All thanks to the CEO capital Oil and Gas, a humanitarian, philanthropist par excellence, a man I accord so much respect, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, who after reading my letter which was also disbursed to quite a lot of people, decided to assist me solve the pressing need of the students. It became a reality as the seats were handed over to the school recently.
The journey I must say was not rosy at all. The paltry N19,800 from FG like my Zonal Inspector would always say, became like the ladies’ monthly visitor…it comes, surges for a few days and disappears before you say “Jack Robinson”. I must appreciate the person of Chief Charles Obinna (Ebube Malaysia) whose financial assistance within the period in review complimented the FG’s paltry allowance.
My gratitude also goes to “Madam Stainless” whose restaurant made me miss home less. Thanks for always cooking my best delicacy “Ora Soup”.
To my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Polycarp Onwubiko, may God bless you for being there especially when FG toiled with our lives.
Katsina is a nice place for those registering for NYSC. It’s peaceful and a home of hospitality. I will definitely miss my students.
To those who promised me jobs, the ” Almighty NYSC certificate” is handy. When, where and how do we meet?”