CORPERS LODGE (TEN)

In case you missed the last episode, click HERE. But if you just arrived from Mars and are seeing this series for the first time, get the opening episode HERE. Enjoy.

December 2014 would always be remembered as the month that began a new phase in my service year and directly contributed to one of the most painful events that I regret till date. To fully understand this I would have to fill you in on some backgrounds. Our local government area is made up of five villages. But the local government is divided into two CDS areas. My village and its nearest neighbour make up CDS Area 2, while the other three villages make up CDS Area 1. Each CDS area has one CLO (Corper Liaison Officer). The two CLOs manage their units separately, supervised by the local government inspector except once a month when the entire local government corps members meet to sign the payment voucher.

The CLO is a prestigious office, and as the Corpers are responsible for its appointment, this has always resulted to serious politicking, armtwisting, petty blackmail and social corruption. The last CLO was from the neighbouring village Community School. This present CLO is from St Thomas Grammar school. The next CLO would naturally fall to our school which I would refer to as Memorial. Yes, the CLO has always rotated among these three schools even though there are around eight PPAs in our CDS area. There are, however, few strong reasons for this. For one, they are government schools; for another, these three schools put together usually constitute eighty percent of the entire corps population, so it had never been hard for these three schools to pass around the office of CLO among themselves.

But there was a problem with our batch. It was rumoured that no one from my school is good enough to be CLO. One Samuel, a Batch A corps member from Community confirmed this to me. He listed all the corps members in Memorial and condemned them. ‘You can’t give Dayo CLO because he carries NCCF on his head,’ he told me.

‘What about Micah?’ I asked.

‘Micah is too soft. People won’t respect him. He behaves sme sme, like a woman.’

I sighed.

Samuel continued, ‘Edwin is too arrogant and won’t carry people along. You know Corper Agu can’t spell. As for you—’ he winked at me, ‘never mind.’

‘What about the ladies?’

Samuel smirked as though I have served him a dish of worms. ‘A woman cannot rule over men. A woman cannot be CLO.’ Samuel then told me that they have more or less decided to give another school outside of the big three a chance. ‘Glorious Secondary School will produce the next CLO.’

I swallowed hard. Glorious is a private school with just three corps members, two of them females meaning the only guy Chiemeke, a most annoying fellow would emerge CLO. I didn’t like the chap and I don’t think he was crazy about me. (I won’t say why I didn’t like him, you will soon find out yourself). But it would be double tragedy if Chiemeke emerged CLO.

‘Micah will make a better CLO,’I said.

Samuel shrugged. ‘This is December. He has two months to convince us that he can. But I doubt it.’

‘We will surprise you.’

That was when the campaign line was drawn. I made a time table of visitation for Micah. He would visit the lodges in the area, charm the girls and humour the guys. He would watch football in alternate viewing centres where he would get to relate amiably with the guys. No more skipping of Saturday morning trainings for him. No more lateness at CDS meetings. He would clear his CDS group debts. During CDS meetings, he would contribute cogently—making only conciliatory and way-forward speeches. Once in a while he would visit the CLO and take him to Baba Laje Joint.

Micah sighed. ‘Guy, this is too much. It’s like acting a seasonal movie.’

‘Yes,’ I accepted. ‘But we can’t afford to let another school take our right.’

‘It will be very expensive.’

‘Don’t worry about resources,’ I said, hiding my own worries. ‘And stop wearing pencil jeans.’

‘Why?’

I sighed. ‘Oga, pencil jeans don’t command any leadership respect?’

He sighed.

I looked at Micah. Tall, good-looking, smooth voice, excellent smile. The perfect portrait of a CLO. My goal, turn this beautiful woman into a CLO material.

The first opportunity for Micah to display his leadership prowess came when the committee for the send-forth party of Batch A was formed. Dayo (as our Corper Principal) nominated Micah and I to represent Memorial in the committee. There were ten corps members in the committee, the big three producing two members each and the remaining four members coming from the minority PPAs. One of these was a certain Chiemeke.  

Our names were called out during CDS meeting, the CLO asked us to go out and appoint a chairman.

‘Let’s nominate a chairman,’ I said as we converged outside: nine men, one lady.

‘I nominate Micah,’ Jude said. Jude is a law graduate, serving in the magistrate court. Jude would never represent me in court (that’s by the way).

‘I second the motion,’ Taju said. Taju of St Thomas, studied theatre arts in Lasu and sometimes behaved stupid in the name of comedy.

‘I don’t think that’s fair,’ Chiemeke said, ‘we can’t keep rotating chairmen among Memorial, St Thomas and Community. When we first arrived here the chairman who welcomed us was from Memorial. The chairman of the last Batch C Send-forth is from St Thomas, the chairman of this present Batch C Welcome is from Community.’

‘Who do you suggest we make chairman?’ I asked not successful in concealing my distaste.

‘I nominate Glorious,’ Chiemeke replied, with no effort to hide his distaste.

‘We have already nominated Micah,’ Jude said edgily.

‘The majority hasn’t nominated him.’

I tried not to lose my temper. ‘You are the only one from Glorious here, are you nominating yourself?’

‘I am nominating Glorious,’ he said quietly.

‘Let’s do election then,’ Lucy, a veterinary doctor with the local vet clinic said irritably; she was obviously impatient to get back to her pinging. 

A St Thomas corps member crazily referred to as Corper Sharp Sharp became the umpire. He carried a big unkempt hair that would sustain a legion of lice. And he considered speaking good English a weakness. Guys like this, sometimes make me suspect that NYSC mobilised some corps members from the streets, and motorparks. ‘If you wan make Micah be our chair make we see your hand,’ Corper Sharp Sharp said.

I, Jude, Taju and Lucy raised our hands. ‘People wey one make Chiemeke be chair, oya, your hand.’ The three silent corps members and Sharp Sharp voted for Chiemeke. The election was tied—four-four.

‘Well, we will have to toast a coin,’ one of the dumb corps members found his voice.

‘No, let’s take it to the main house,’ Chiemeke said and began to hurry into the hall. Micah was sure to lose inside the hall.

‘Hey,’ I drew Sharp Sharp on his vest. ‘Yes?’ He didn’t smile.

‘Guy, you didn’t vote for my candidate,’ I said, ‘na wah to you o.’

He shrugged. ‘Na so I see am.’

‘Well, this evening, I will be going to Baba Laje Joint for hot point and kill. Why don’t you join me?’

His Adam’s apple pumped with joy. ‘For real?’

‘I hate going there alone and you are my main man,’ I lied. Sharp Sharp slapped me on the back, excited.

‘… Since they are unable to pick a chairman among them,’ the CLO was saying, ‘I will now have to appoint the chairman.’

‘The election wasn’t tied,’ I interrupted.

‘It was tied,’ Chiemeke fired back.

‘The election wasn’t tied, Micah defeated you.’

Chiemeke chuckled. ‘You’re crazy, weren’t you guys all there?’

The whole hall began to murmur and shove their feet with impatience. ‘Let’s repeat the election here and now,’ someone shouted. A series of yeses were chorused. The CLO nodded. ‘Micah and Chiemeke, move to this side.’ The two rivals stepped aside, leaving the eight of us.

‘If you want Micah to be chairman of the committee, raise your hand.’ The eight of us raised our hands. I was shocked by this miracle but managed to keep a straight face. Most of the seated corps members thought it funny and laughed.
Chiemeke couldn’t hide his embarrassment, even humiliation. The CLO shrugged. ‘Micah is chairman. You guys can go outside and select other posts.’

Outside, I grabbed Sharp Sharp on his hand covered with ambitious veins. ‘What happened?’

He laughed. ‘Cassidy, Toby and Amos all wan go Baba Laje.’
It was my turn to slap his back.

Someone tapped me on the back. I turned and scowled at Chiemeke. ‘Can I have a word with you?’

I walked with him a little distance from the others.

‘You have the first laugh,’ he said without opening his mouth. ‘I can see that you are tough.’

‘And smart,’ I reminded him.

He nodded lazily. ‘Yeah, smart. I see that you really want this CLO thing for your guy.’

‘You can see whatever you want to see,’ I said and made to leave but he stepped on my way. I nearly spat on his face. ‘I want you to be my campaign manager. Will 15 thousand naira buy you anything?’

I frowned. ‘I am not for sell so perish that thought!’

He slapped me on the shoulder. ‘I am not talking of bribe, am talking your salary as my CM, I am ready to pay you 15 thousand naira every month till I become the CLO… No, don’t give me an answer now. Take your time to think about it.’ And he bounced away.  

I swallowed a lump as Micah approached me, the other appointments must have been concluded. ‘We run things,’ he hailed. I was supposed to reply, ‘things don’t run us’ but my voice was proving hard to use. It was as if someone had filled my mouth with wads of naira notes, choking me, making it impossible to hail my friend.

Click here for Episode Eleven

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29 thoughts on “CORPERS LODGE (TEN)

  1. Walt Shakes

    Hahahahahahahahahahaa!!! See checkmate o. This Chiemeke is darn smart. I was expecting him to harass Kings. To drop the ultimate game changer (money) was BRILLIANT! Oya nau! Kings, the ball is in your court. Don’t forget how Helen cleaned out your financial status o. *wicked grin*

    Like

  2. Saint Gab

    You are proving the Tinubu of APC huh? Ride on.
    Critically observed, this episode is shorter but still suspense filled.

    Like

  3. Annie Walter

    Wow! Money or loyalty?,imagine if Micah does this to you,abeg no fall ur hand oo my guy.Nicely written as usual,may ur ink not run dry #winks# ehn ehn back to my Olivier twist,just started it and loving it all d way….yipeeeeee

    Like

    • HARD VOICES

      Money or loyalty? Now, that’s a 15 thousand naira question. To be answered next week.
      Amen to your prayer.
      Olivier? Read on, and let’s know what you think as you read on.
      Thanks dear for doing this

      Like

  4. Moses O. Haruna

    Corper kings,na wa 4 u o.How come you can’t find ur voice anymore,now that money has been dangled b4 ur face? ha,ha,ha. . .very eagerly waiting for next edition.

    Like

  5. chinenye

    Ehm, nna biko that money is not a small money o, considering helen and ur cashless state. Lmao, this chiemeke is very sharp guy o, did he study political science???

    Like

  6. Yemie

    *singing*🎵🎵🎤📯📢📣 Dis na temptation, with a little confusion! 🙉😂

    Kingsley, i’ll bet Chiemeke doesn’t look half as bad as you’d initially thought he was and I don’t need a Seer to confirm that much to me! I’ll wager also that by the looks of him, you only get to see the naira signs a-glow from within the depths of his eyes! Dude, you’re sooo on your own on this one but I’ll suggest that in the event that you choose to swallow those wads of free naira notes before you practically choke on ’em; ensure to think on those times Micah very nearly sold you out, when he attempted to rat you out as the brain behind that lil snake incidence with Fisayo! That’s your trump card right there, your sorry ass of an ‘excuse’, payback’s a byotch; and you can thank me later, no charge! 👿😆😂

    I would sure like to see how this play out and I surely gotta give it to Chiemeke in this game of wits! He does know what time it is! Press play guys……its game on! Lets see who’s holding and brandishing the aces, can’t wait! 😂😂😂

    Great episode Kingsley, or should that be ‘Kingmaker’?! Pretty funny and depicting of the political atmosphere in our great country! Every man has a price; afterall, money talks and bullshit works! Aha! 😂😂😂

    Like

    • HARD VOICES

      Great Comment. I have been waiting for this comment for 24 hours now, and when I saw it I let the cursor dance a little.
      This na real temptation o, with clear eyes. So make I take the money, make I sell my guy? Yeah, he once developed cold feet over a certain runs gone bad, most Nigerians would do that when the victim begins to try to collect certificate to the next world. But he never sold me out, just threatened, then he kept quiet. And remember how he alone stood for me the day those girls accused me, a whole me, of taking their chicken change. And he lent me the money and gave morale support the day we picked up Queen Helen, remember. And, above all, as a man of God, Jesus Corper, I have my integrity to protect, check it out. 15K is chicken change, by the way, and Memorial rights must never be taken, stolen. And Chiemeke is worse than he is. Just the look.
      Yemee, your comments build this blog like none else. Keep rocking us!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugwu Psalmuel

    ‘I am not
    talking of bribe, am talking your salary as
    my CM, I am ready to pay you 15 thousand
    naira every month till I become the CLO…’

    even Micah will beef u if u refuse d offer.
    bliv me…

    Like

  8. Adewoyin Joseph

    Fifteen taaazand to augment the rapidly subliming 19k plus? I totally understand the sudden lump and voice failure jare. It’s not a bad job at all. But then I ponder: if Chiemeke will pay that much to become the CLO, then it’s okay to conclude that being a CLO guarantees more dough. So, morality and brotherly fealty put to slumber, I ask: 15k now or x times 15k (where x is greater than 1) when Micah becomes the CLO, ceteris paribus?

    Everyone has a price (Sharp Sharp and co.: Point-and-kill; You: something greater than or equal to fifteen taaazand). 🙂 I trust the ingenious politician that you are will find a way around this.

    Good write Kings. Anticipating the next.

    Like

    • HARD VOICES

      See maths o. Senor Joe I swear you are a blessing to WordPress, phew. That supposed Igbo accent in the first sentence, I will ignore. Let’s talk maths. See if Chiemeke can dole out such amount that means as CLO he would get x (where x is greater than k, [where k equals to 15 thousand]) But where x equals to p (p been prestige) and remember the formula for calculus prestigious: everything times prestige equals to zero. Zero divided into two (two being M and I, I less than M, M been Micah), on the probability of getting to point Z, Z been CLO, grand total equals to 15k times 3 months times zero plus or minus Helen…
      Oga, I have headache. The short of this craze inducing maths is that 15k at hand is better than ten Micahs in the Bush Administration…
      I am gone to get paracetamol

      Like

  9. Kelvin

    15k every month… Yesterday!
    Don’t do it . Or is it bad if you do it?
    You buddy never really wanted it.
    Am still wondering why you didn’t nominate yourself.
    Any way na God win. 😂 LOL 😂

    Like

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