At the NYSC Zonal office Ikeja, Corps member Chidimma had just concluded her CDS meeting for that week and was asked to wait behind by Mrs Adebanjo.
Mrs Modupe Adebanjo was the NYSC Zonal Inspector for Ikeja and she had been going through the monthly briefing on the progress and conduct of various Corps members sent in from their different places of primary assignments.
As Chidimma approached the Zonal Inspector’s office she panicked and thought in her mind;
Chidimma : (thinking aloud) onye makwa nke m mere (who knows what rule I have broken) ?
She paused at the door and made three quick signs of the cross, drew in enough air into her lungs in a long breath and then exhaled hard, an exercise she always performs whenever she needs to boost her morale or confidence.
She knocked and was asked in by the Mrs Adebanjo.
She walked into the office and greeted her and a warm response came from Mrs Adebanjo.
Chidimma : You asked me to see you Madam.
Mrs Adebanjo : (smiling) Ah yes, you look like someone who had just seen a ghost, are you in any way frightened ? Why don’t you cheer up.
Chidimma managed to give off a weak smile, but deep down she was still worried and wondering what this was all about.
Mrs Adebanjo : More like it my daughter.
At the mention of “my daughter”, Chidimma became relaxed.
Mrs Adebanjo : I have keenly watched and observed your conduct since you came here and all your monthly performance reports have been satisfactory so far. Its three weeks to your POP and I am thrilled that you have remained focused.
I must commend you for that.
Chidimma : Thank you Ma.
She asked Chidimma to sit down for a chat.
After Chidimma was seated, she continued.
Mrs Adebanjo : I called you to tell you that sadly, you have not been selected for any honours.
Chidimma : Haba! Madam, I was never expecting any recognition for abiding by the rules. I’m just being myself and enjoying the service year. I was not aiming for any honours.
Mrs Adebanjo : So after your POP you will be going home to Aba abi ?
Chidimma : Yes madam, I really miss home and can’t wait to see my family again.
Mrs Adebanjo : Aw! I understand how you feel but I think you won’t be going home immediately after your POP.
Chidimma : Haba ! Why madam, have I done anything wrong, do I have an extension ?
Mrs Adebanjo : No my daughter, its just that you have already gotten a job.
Chidimma : ( Elated and Surpised as well ) How madam ?
Mrs Adebanjo : That brings me to why I sent for you. You have been retained at your place of primary assignment and here is your letter of appointment to that effect. It was sent alongside your commendation letter. Here it is, its your document now and tell your people that you would not be coming home soon as you will need to settle down first before going home.
Chidimma was thrown into joy accompanied by a waterfall of tears. She had given in her best at her place of primary assignment and now God has smiled on her.
In three weeks she would be passing out from the National Youth Service Scheme but unlike her colleagues who would be thrown into the uncertainty of getting employment, she has been spared of the stress of job hunting as her place of primary assignment has mandated her to officially resume in the next two weeks as their main staff.
In two weeks time Chidimma would resume as a ticketing and reservation officer at Arik air and not as a youth corps member.
She got up, wiped her tears with her handkerchief and thanked Mrs Adebanjo who had been smiling broadly, watching her.
She left the NYSC Ikeja Zonal office almost dancing as she walked toward the bus stop.
******** TO BE CONTINUED **********