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During my compulsory one-year youth service, having studied and lived all my life in the southwestern part of Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world, and being a native of eastern Nigeria, I was posted to Benue state, the food basket of the nation which could be said to be in the northern part of the nation. The first objective of the Youth Service Corps was national integration and acculturation. Most corp members would prefer to be posted far way to places far from their homes. I was one of such. I wanted to explore other cultures and the service was an avenue that must not be missed.
After the three weeks at the orientation camp, I was posted to a new generation bank in the heart of Makurdi. It was a huge surprise as such juicy posting goes to those who are able to bribe their way through the rank and files of the directorate.
Two other corps member were posted to the bank. I was the only male. The bank promised to take care of our rents but would leave the responsibility of searching for accommodation to us. It was an added advantage, at least we get to find our places of choice.
Ladies, as you know would like more comfort in such matters. Quickly, they sprang into action in search of a self-contained apartment. They got a very beauty apartment in the heart of the city, at a very exorbitant price which the bank accepted to pay.
In my case, I went for a middle-income earner apartment. The bank also paid. As we commenced work, I poured my heart into it with the operations department. I ensured little or no waste from my office . It was just a part of me. Maybe that was how I was brought up.
Before I knew it, my landlord started giving me some kind of attitude. Before I knew it, he started rolling out new laws. Like my guest is not welcome in the compound when it's past 8:00 pm. That's shocking, isn't it? I wouldn't want to disrespect an old man, so observed the new laws.
At one of our weekly Community Development meetings, one of the male corps member was sharing the same experience in his residence when another local Corper waded in the discussion first with laughter. Then later said:
My friends, in this place; it is an abuse to bring another lady home when the landlord has many daughters living there.
This caught me. My mind flashed to some of the movement the girls,I mean my landlord's daughters moving restlessly whenever I am back from my PPA in the evening.
Oh. I see. That has some sense in it. I said in response to what the intruding corps member had said.
In my place, we are told that a dog does not eat the bone hung on it's neck.
Who cares. This is a different place brother. You will continue to have such body language from your landlord if you do not change and accept at least one of his daughter to rub your back. He said.
What if I don't find them attractive, I asked:
Begin now to check them out, you'd soon find the attraction. They all began to laugh
This wasn't funny but they laughed. How could a man stoop so low to begin to consider that his daughters be served as meal to strangers. That's quite absurd. My landlord was disappointed because I wasn't fashioned to take his bait.
Few months to the end of my service year, the bank enlisted me for training. It was an in-house training, but I was the only corps member among there three of us posted there to participate in the training.
It was a fantastic experience. Just like a field trip, the one year ended and we were sent-forth with huge gift items and cash. My package only had a slim envelope that made it look different from others. On arrival at my quarters, I decided to check the gifts one after the other and found that in the slim brown envelope, letter of retainment. I have the options to either accept the offer or to reject it.
You know what? I accepted it. Of course I should or what do you think? I worked there for some years before I resigned, on my parents pressure following the massive killings and clash of the herdsmen and farmers in the state.