Friday, May 26, 2006

Youths Obey the Clarion Call - With Some Civility Please!!!!!

Just got back from my CD (community development day) a while ago. And like most weeks, I returned tired. Not physically, but mentally fatigued. Every week, the inability of Nigerians to do things in the simplest and most efficient manner amazes me. A biggie is forming queues. I think many people have either never heard of a queue or are vaguely familiar with the concept but find it incompatible with their very nature (or something.......).

Things like getting our CD cards signed each week would take a much shorter time if we were able to form queues and just bloody get on with it. Instead one line becomes two, as people not on it attempt to merge with the current line or form their own. The worst is when we try to form multiple lines in order to ....ahem..... "speed things up." People finagle their way in-between the 'lines' and before you know it, what we have is a sea of people with no beginning and no end. Woe betide you if you think (justifiably perhaps) that you are on the correct line and will get attended to in due course! My friend, you better wake-up and shine your eye. Getting anywhere involves much pushing (yourself forward as much as you can) and shoving (of others out of your way) and tough-talking (to limit the number of people who will seep into the 'line' just ahead of you).

Men, I don tire!!!

Today was supposed to be our monthly general CD (please don't ask me what this is and how it is different from our regular CD, for I would not be able to give you a straight or concise answer). Instead we were asked to come to City Hall (a seat of local government, which has fallen into a dire state of disrepair, btw) for a head-count . After struggling to get my name ticked off a list of my local government corpers, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. I had joined the line and been attended to in due course, unlike those shameless people attempting to infiltrate the line from the sides. However, I knew that there had to be more to the day. If what should be a simple experience can be transformed into an arduous and difficult one, surely NYSC would find a way to do it.

Sure they did! The real head-count started a couple of hours later. My local government area (LGA) showed itself to be the quintessence of uncouth behaviour (I was so ashamed). While other LGA corpers lined-up in a somewhat civilised manner (and this is good, because total civility does not exist - please let me know if you find it), my LGA was so unruly that several times the officials doing the count abandoned their post and took off. Of course, they were followed closely by corpers pleading with them. As soon as they set-up in a new location, much the same thing would happen again. And in so doing, we actually got a nice tour of the City Hall grounds.

Eventually, leaned up (or pinned) against a car, one of the officials was convinced to give us (yet) another chance. He did and finally I got counted. After much pushing, shoving and tough-talking of course, but now I know that to be par the course.


Everchange said...

he he. Sounds like fun.

Ayoola said...

Hey Ore, what do mean other LGAs lined up for their headcount with civility? My LGA with just about 150 ppl to your LGA's 700+ was just as rowdy with ppl jumping the queue anyhow. That said, we didn't have to get an unfortunate tour of the very ugly city hall grounds (remember that rotten fruit and excrement infested cesspool of a fountain and it's thick film of oil and rusty pipes?)

Ore said...

My bad perhaps, but my LGA really took the cake. You have to admit that.

Adunni said...

I can't believe it!!!!!!!!!. Head counts, CD cards signed every week,....... and i thought NYSC would be bliss in Lagos. In Kaduna nobody counts any heads and we definitely do not sign CD cards every week. We have general CD once a month and even there, nobody counts any heads we just hang around and gist then the CLO(Corper's Laison Officer) passes the list around (which means you don't have to go all the time. Someone could just write your name for you) and then we all go home (except for the day we were asked to sweep the LGA office).

@ the lack of civility , I think its something that's had eaten way deep into the fabric of our society and this is reflected in our inability to carry out the simplest tasks in an orderly fashion.Here in KD the first clearance days are absolute nightmares. with one standing on a queue for what would seem like hours while other people simply jumped the queue and finished in record time and those who don't jump the queue looked for some NYSC official and before you could say "q" they were done. I've learnt my lessons though, i either look for a guy and " shunt"(if you can't beat them you join them)or i go for my clearance on the third day. By then there would be no crowds whatsoever and i don't even have to be fully kitted to do clearance.

Pilgrimage to Self said...

Ahhhhaaaaa, the joys of youth service. I remember those days well - and it's been over ten years now!!! Must have left a lasting impression on the blueprint of my mind.

low said...

I thot i was the only one who was very upset by the way corpers find it hard to get on a line. I left City hall for 3 hrs only to come back and find out that nothing had changed.
Do you know what the head count was for coz i sure didnt hear any valid reason for the waste of time.

The only thing that keeps me going now is the thot of getting this service yr over n done with in 2 months!!!! CANT WAIT!

Ore said...

Low, I'm not sure what it was all about. I think it might be to shake things up a bit and catch out those people who aren't really serving out their NYSC year though they end up passing out all the same. Hmmm, mysterious, that! I don't know. Isn't it the same officials who will fix things for these said people later on?