I was originally posted to Yobe state, We camped in Bauchi state because Yobe state wasn’t safe. The camp population was 2,300ish which was divided into 10 platoons, I was in platoon 1.
The first week was difficult, it was the end of November and harmattan had started to show itself, the weather was really cold, dry and dusty, camp food was mostly sub standard, no tap water as we have to fetch from well, toilet was the normal expected pit latrine before they all got blocked due too many deposits, the schedule didn’t give room for much rest and soon i wasn’t feeling too well-the cold and dust got to me🤒 . I didn’t want to be a military nor paramilitary person🙅🏽♂️, so I decided to take my time and do things at my pace, I skipped like two parade sessions & went to rest at the clinic, that was the only safe place from soldiers i knew.
It was a new environment, I started out being lowkey, i observed then gradually i began to mix up properly. My room mates were all nice people, we had muslims, christians, the funny ones, the arguing types, drinkers, smokers…but it was a sane environment, nobody acted too ‘funny’. We were one big family! I never felt alone because I came to camp with people from my school so once in a while when we bumped into each other, we kept each other company during the long boring lectures or the platoon presentations at night. Most evenings i strolled with Sope and we talked about ’silly & serious’ stuff, that part i miss much.
When it was time to March😓 , I was an average guy unlike chisom at marching so i left, I first joined the football team which was super stressful, my whole body ached after the first 2 training sessions. I ended up finally in the dancing group, simple cultural dance💃🏽 (each platoon has like different activities to perform hence different groups are formed in the platoon, so once you’re in e.g football team, you don’t have to march or you
kesi could really just escape it all). I decided I was going to eat camp food because I’m not that sensitive/selective to food & it would help me relate with the camp experience better. I found out it was mostly sub standard and small in quantity however not Poison as most people would say it is, anytime I wasn’t interest in camp food I bought food from the mami market.
Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship was good growth environment, I attended most times as there really wasn’t any other thing ‘important’ i was doing. Most services were good except for the constant emphasis that we should not redeploy, about 70% still redeployed😏 .
On the day of food competition there was a funny dispute in one of the platoons that had a goat ( all the platoons bought a Goat or Ram), It so happened that it was christians that killed the goat for the platoon, a group of muslims came & started shouting that they can’t eat it and won’t allow other people eat because it wasn’t killed in a certain way, the body should be aligned in a particular order & some words were to be uttered before killing it. I was in awe & other people that weren’t from the north were like 😱 , we just couldn’t believe it. It was just messed up. They didn’t agree ohh & frustrated the platoon.
Looking back a year after i’d say i came with an open mind, mixed with people, decided to not be too involved in or withdrawn from activities that i missed out on enjoying the camp experience. By the way my platoon came 2nd in the cooking competition😎 & the only regret i think i have was that i didn’t take provisions to camp🙈.