Bauchi corp member: Amarachi Gracious tell her story
Today in Nigeria, the impact of the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) cannot be over emphasized. The scheme still remains the desired platform for most students in tertiary institutions within & outside the country.
Consequently, the narrative of serving in the North despite the preconceived notion many young Nigerians have of insecurity, lack of massive opportunities, the rate of poverty among others is changing by the day. Eluma Amarachi Gracious tells her story.
My name is Eluma Amarachi Gracious, am from the Eastern part of Nigeria. I grew up in Northern Nigeria, Jos precisely, were I had my primary school, secondary and University Education. Three years before finishing from the University, my family relocated to Imo state for several reasons. Top on the list was the pursuit for security in their own definition of what security is which was hinged on staying among your own kindred.
After graduating from the University, it was time to serve my Fatherland. I was posted to serve in Bauchi which was a prayer answered for me because I was used to the North and didn’t want to serve in a distant land but that was a disheartening news for my family. My heart was filled with fear of what the land holds for me, fear not because I didn’t want Bauchi but because I allowed people’s view and opinion try to shake my decision.
Beside my fears, I got lots of pity calls from people who saw my posting as a terrible news. I got comments like ‘oh no! You were posted to Bauchi, the land is poor, there are no job opportunities there, and most of all you might loose your life in the course of the religious related crisis, how about terrorist attacks, you need to relocate, fake a medical report and demand for relocation’. All of these stemmed up after I got my posting letter. But I stayed put on my decision to serve in Bauchi.
Coming to Bauchi left a lot on my mind to ponder on: Do I really wish to serve here? Does the land of Bauchi actually swallow it’s inhabitants? Are there green pastures In Bauchi? All these thoughts flooded my
mind as I journeyed to this land.
In no distant time I settled down just fine, resumed my Primary Place of Assignment. Sooner than later, I got used to the Bauchi environs such as her market, her food; rice cake popularly called Massa and Nunu, one of her major trade which is farming. I also meet the indigenes who against public opinion are very friendly and welcoming as I can’t forget the praise singing I get whenever am seen in my Ajuwaya (khaki).
Not to talk of the community of corp members among which i dwell (Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF) Family House).
During my stay I wanted carrying a personal Community Development Service (CDS) project on a seminar with female students of ten secondary schools. I envisaged a platform were resource persons engage these young girls on a talk on sex education, hygiene, understanding your body and a woman. Though this vision was not birthed as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19.
My experience In bauchi can’t be complete without mentioning where I lived NCCF FAMILY HOUSE. It’s indeed the most important place in Bauchi. Here I met people who cut across most parts of Nigeria. Everyday in the house was significant and strategic.
My best moment in Bauchi was in April when by God’s hand I organized my first catering training tagged ‘Gracious training classes’ for my fellow corps members. It was a one month training session of theories, practicals, projects and graduation. During these training, the Joy of seeing that I was adding value to others knew no bounds, coupled with continuous testimonies from Corp member in the training. It was fulfilling seeing my ideas come to fruition with value added to others.
Indeed after serving my country in these part of Nigeria, here’s my conclusion; Bauchi is calm, the people are friendly as it has been one year of uninterrupted security and peace, her land is green and just like any other part of Nigeria. Am grateful I stayed here, am going back well informed.
Today service year is officially over but my experience will be with me forever. I am going back home a better person than I came. Thanks to NYSC that gave me this opportunity to enjoy Bauchi. Finally, thanks to Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF) Bauchi. My service was worthwhile with all the opportunities, exposures & people NCCF brought my way.
Credit: Written by Eluma Amarachi Gracious, images shot at RefreshAV