Those of us wey dem born immediately before, during or immediately after civil war, we be special people. E get as we de think. I come de think say maybe na because na corn milk dem take train us. You know wetin be corn milk? Me sef I no know but I remember the taste. That time, even breast milk no too de run. No be who don chop belleful de get breast milk to give pikin?
(Na dat time Britain de send gun and bomb give Nigeria and at the same time de send relief materials give Biafra. E don tey wey dem oyinbo don de mess up our life)
Wait I wan do something. I wan give warning. The material you are reading is fictional. All the people mentioned in it bear no resemblance to anyone dead or alive. Do not take it seriously.
Last week, I hear for TV when one oga for soja de announce say dem de recruit young able-bodied Nigerian males to join army. Dem call dem volunteers. Dem say dem go give dem intensive training so dat dem go join the fight against Boko Haram. O boy, my body weak!
(All the time I know Nigerian army, na enjoyment dey der. Salary no de delay and government de fear dem. Any army man we retire from even major and e no be millionaire, dat mean say dem de follow am from village. Even after dem comot army, na dem get all the sweet contract. Any fuck-up happen, na dem de head probe panel. Na dem get Ports Authority for instance and na dem complimentary card de sell pass. Wait first. You know say applicants de buy complimentary card take attach to application letter? Mtshceew!)
I come de ask myself say which kind announcement be dis? Dem de tell me say make I come join army so dat I go face Borno, Adamawa and Yobe and dem de expect say I go come? All kind yeye thing just de fly enter inside my mind. I de ask TV say, wey all the people wey dey army de chop since? Dem no fit fight again abi dem don finish? How e come be say na part-time soldier na im good to fight Boko Haram? In the end, I conclude say na only two group of people fit join army for dis time. One, people wey like army and wey like to fight die. Two, people wey don frustrate wey be say any way forward na way. So, what about people wey dey patriotic? Where you from come sef?
(Patriotism na bad word walahi. Na one of those word wey belong to poor people. So you no know say some words belong to poor people? Make I tell you some others:
Patriotism (noun) word wey dem de tell poor man if e complain say rich man own don too much.
Prison 1: (noun) imaginary place used to scare rich man make e no over-thief publicly
Prison. 2: (noun) place where we keep poor troublesome people to prevent them from troubling big men
Corruption 1: (noun) when opposition thief anything from goat to money
Stealing: Anything at all, irrespective of quantity fraudulently acquired by government and officials (NB dis is not same as corruption)
Law: set of rules wey dem make to protect rich people and fire poor people
Lawyer: people wey no de thief but if you thief enough, dem gat your back for a share
NTA, AIT: (abbrev) mythical table tools used by spin doctors for hypnotism directed at the gullible masses (NB not to be confused with Nigerian television stations)
The time wey civil war start, e be like say e de sweet. Every time wahala dey, you go de hear people de talk say, “make we fight war abeg”. One time, na woman wey carry pikin for hand de talk am for inside taxi. I bin wan tell am wetin fit happen to am and her pikin if war catch dem. But as I no wan make anybody swear for me, na so I quiet. People wey know wetin war be, dem no de bend mouth anyhow de talk about war. Dem know say na terrible thing de happen for war. For instance, as Biafra-Nigeria war come de go….. de go…..de go, e reach one time, soja dem begin run away. Soja no come de join by demself. So dem begin de catch dem de carry go army. Dem de call am conscription. Na by-force army be dat. So all the boys for village come de run enter bush go hide. If dem catch small ones, dem go say make dem de carry ‘ogbunigwe’ de follow soja dem. Big ones, na straight to army. If you get luck you fit get army shirt or trouser. Dem go train you with stick wey get shape like rifle for one week and the first time you go touch gun na for battle front. Boys die!!!!
(People de think say war na like dem de see for film. Days why if you look MOSSOB, na small boys full der. If you look Asari and Uwazurike, you go wan ask dem something. If war start, im sister go live among poor people for Bayelsa abi dem mama go follow run enter creek de dive inside water to avoid bullet? Frederick Faseun or Gani Adams go carry gun abi Yinka Odunmakin go go training for jungle to become Major? When dem scatter area, na dem go first run. From APC, PDP, LP, UPN…na dem go first clear!
My papa tell me how dem take catch am wey e nearly take go soja. As the war de bad de go, e come post im family go east and im come de return to come join dem for village. For east dat time, na all kind language dey.
E manage de hear wetin the officer de talk sef because before the war, people from Delta say dem no be Igbo people. From Abudu, from Agbor, Obior, Umunede, Asaba, Okpanam, Ibuzo, Ogwashi-Uku, Iselle-Uku, Ubulu-Uku to Kwale dem full there. All of dem first talk say dem no be Igbo but when Nigerian soja come, dem no de hear English before. All na Igbo! All man face River Niger.
Anyway, as my papa de go na so dem catch am on top im bicycle.. Dem come line dem up de interview dem before dem recruit dem. When e reach palee turn, the man ask am whether e go school. Palee answer say yes and im just de graduate from University of Ibadan. Na so the man look am come ask am say wey im family. Palee say e wan go join dem. The man come sorry for am say make dem leave am make e de go. Palee carry im bicycle fly come village hehehehehee!
As dem come de talk say make boys come again now, na dat thing come dey my mind. Na now we go know who really like Nigeria. You go join?
We don de understand now for the first time say soja na human being. E get mama and e get family. Forget say dem de beat us like shege for street. Now wey we get chance to join, some parents go be like, “join wetin?” The boy go be like, “But dad, I always wanted to join and you said I could”. The papa go be like, “Trust me boy, the times are different. This is not the right time.” The boy go still de insist like dis generation de do. “But dad, I don’t see…” Papa eye go red. “That’s the point! You see nothing. I said you could join. Now I say you can’t! And that’s it”. The boy look im mama. Mama own no be grammar. Na straight talk. “See, your father is afraid of losing you. If your papa no fit cope, how I go be? You can join if dem go recruit you and your mama. Instead wey I go cry the rest of my life make I kukuma die. Make other people cry for us”.
Na true picture of wetin dis recruitment offer de cause for family be dis and you sef know say na true!
Before before, na heavy selection before dem take you. You go find complementary card reach Senate. You go reduce your age. You go swear fake affidavit say you be from Bayelsa when your name na Ebele. You go shake hands, many many hand before dem go take you. Why be dat? Because army sweet. All of a sudden, dem de take announcement de call us. Hmmmmm! Something don happen!
One soja boy talk say the part wey de sweet pass na the peace-keeping for other countries. Dollar de follow dem come back. On top peace keeping, many of dem don born pikin wey go bear Nigerian name de play football for national team of Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone. But dis one na bad one. Na for our own country we wan fight dis fight and na naira we go collect. And as things be sef, the naira no de come out sef. And na N2,500 dem go still wan collect from you even on top of your patriotism. Anyway make I no talk too much.
Na now we go known who really like Nigeria. You go join army to fight Boko Haram abi you no go join?
As for me, I don pass the age wey dem advertise!