The Girl Who Found Water #NYSC
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Every once in a while, a special talent crosses your path. If you don’t pay attention you might miss it, but sometimes even when you miss it, that special talent hunts you down. And that’s what happened when Chibuzor Marian Azubuike called me out of the blues saying she wanted to write a book about her NYSC experience.
Now I am not the greatest supporter of NYSC (for many reasons) but her story was just too inspiring to ignore … it was the story of a girl who went to Bauchi for her youth service and overcame many obstacles including a bomb attack at her NYSC residence and still was able to direct and mastermind the capital intensive project of building the first bore hole in her area…and getting tagged as “the girl who found
pure water” here is an excerpt from her book…her story…
Often on weekends, other corps members would spend time at the lodge. We would relax and have fun. One night we had slept late, and at 2:45am we heard a loud bang. There was smoke everywhere and our windows were shattered. We woke up and ran out of our rooms in various states of undress. The male corps members carried cutlasses and prowled around outside.
The other girls and I were gathered in the common room praying. Cynthia and Miriam cried as the broken glass fell on their bodies. I remembered the SSS number that we were given in camp to call in times of distress. I dialed the number and a male voice answered. I narrated the incident and told them our location. In fewer than five minutes they called and told me they were in their vehicle, circling the church. They told me to calm the other corps members down and that there was no problem. Cynthia had cried so much that her crying induced other girls to cry more. At about 4:30 everywhere seemed calm and we went back to sleep.
When daylight came we noticed that part of the fence was damaged. It was then that we realized that the noise we had heard was dynamite detonating, but we had thought it was further away. People began to gather at the church; even neighboring houses were affected by the explosion. Uniformed men came to investigate; we were also told that something similar took place at another church near the railway.
By this point everyone was scared. It was a Sunday and we usually had mass at 7am; those that came to church went back home after seeing the damage. The press was all around asking questions, but as corps members we were not to speak to them. We contacted the NYSC local government inspector, who showed up quickly with other NYSC officials. He addressed us briefly, and all of the corps members began agitating, stating that they wanted to go home. He asked us to write down our demands, and I was given the task of writing the letter. They insisted I write that we all be relocated automatically or be sent home as we did not feel safe. I suggested that we include the option of armed security men guarding where we lived. After a long period of argument, they finally agreed with my option and we all signed our names. I was in a dilemma because I did not want to leave Bauchi without achieving anything.
The villagers for whom I intended to construct a borehole called to sympathize with me when they heard the news. One thing was clear to me at this point; I was gradually deviating from doing the project because of any award but because of the dying need of this vulnerable people. Their encouragement and constant phone calls made me determine to continue with the project.”
By evening we were calm and even joked about our reactions to the events of the night before: Ifeoma had brought out her olive oil and prayerfully applied it to her face, while Miriam her roommate stretched out her out hands and begged Ifeoma to give her some too.
The next morning most of us received phone calls from our parents who had heard about the events on the network news; we calmed them down. The Bauchi NYSC state coordinator as well as the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Bauchi visited and encouraged us. The police safeguarding our residence made us secure…
Chibuzor Marian Azubuike can be reached on www.chibuzormirian.com
drills bore holes speaks at NYSC camps across the nations and would be at the NYSC camps in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states this year.
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