Our Military Officers Hone Their Thieving Skills At NYSC Orientation Camps!
Having been referred to this computer "engineer" by another fellow in the cybercafe business, I made out time to see him as he came highly recommended. I needed to fix my laptop which failed to "power on" in spite of a faultless battery. The repair had bee put off severally due to a strange tendency to procrastinate on such "urgent" matter.
Urgent? Sure! In the sense that apart from online options, I have no immediate backup device for now.... And that seems careless....even reckless....for I do not want to go the way of INEC which failed to backup such sensitive data as a register of voters....leading to deletion of the info on a whole sitting governor! It would be a disaster if my articles are somehow deleted and I lose all that literary work!
Now back to my engineer friend: After a warm welcome to his shop, I was made comfortable in a chair. He then proceed to examine my device....finally concluding that it had a "board" problem.
We got talking. His bearing was fine. He spoke impeccable english. I learnt he is a graduate....a casualty of the Nigerian thieving government....much like his referring friend....who had a "2-1" in biochemistry!
We delved into various topics....top of which was his harrowing experience during "orientation" during his NYSC days.
The military commandant of the camp....in collusion with his officers and men....had diverted funds meant for the khaki wears, the caps and the boots.
The number of items supplied fell too short of demand. So, corpers decided to go on parade on next muster order on foot in unified protest! Notwithstanding the fact the mutiny plan was leaked.....and cohesion was broken by some who panicked and went on parade in self-purchsed canvas shoes....the commandant ordered them all to lie on the ground and roll endlessly from one end of the field to another!
The food was equally bad thus compelling corpers to depend on the "mami market" for meals which gulped a huge chunk of their "alawees"!
You steal from a man. You keep him unfed. You keep him unclothed. He complains. You bully him with corporal punishment....in his malnourished state! Just because you happen to possess the upper hand at that instant! It matters not to you that he is not a regular military recruit. Or that he posseses a university degree....which you are unlikely to possess!
The NYSC orientation surely comes with discipline.....but I doubt if that is the manner it was meant to be applied!
So, it comes as no surprise that mutiny is rife in the army in this war with Boko Haram....with men distrusting and disobeying their commanders....who kit them with porous Kevlars and helmets.
Sentencing such men to death is a harsher replay of the "ground roll" meted out to the corpers! It is unfair! It is unjust!
Surely, our NYSC orientation camps are veritable breeding grounds for future looters of our treasury!
Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner, a former Secretary of AGPMPN Ikorodu zone, a former Secretary of the Quackery Committee of AGPMPN Lagos State Branch, founder of Analytical Minds, a good health advocate and public affairs analyst.