September 17, 2021



As he moved into the crowd, the murmurs grew. Every corp member was disgruntled at this point for different reasons, not all of us were fascinated by what little drama this soldier was playing now.

Some of us wanted to get out of this chilling early morning air, and back under our duvet until the sun, piercing into the hostel windows remind us of lunch at the Maami Market.

This was how badly i wanted to leave this ground. We have been standing at ease now since the last 30 minutes – legs spread out, hands clapsed backwards and full chest out, listening to Inspector Epe deliver a monotonous speech that in his mind was a motivational speech.

Some people like to feel themselves shaaa.

So, somewhere into this boring talk, I had instinctively removed my hands from my back, placed them on my waist and started to turn here and there, and..WAIT! That probably makes me the soldiers culprit right?

He stopped right in front of me, his height towering over mine, and said

“Come out”

“” I stuttered. Aye mi. I am done for.
I thought of the public ridicule this man could expose me to.

I hated criticisms of any sort

But something else happened that made me believe strongly that my mother’s prayers were always with me.

The soldier turned and started to move out of the crowd, with laughter erupting from behind me.

Then i saw him – a small man, a dwarf following after the soldier, pushing his way through.

Standing before us again, the soldier commanded us at attention and back at ease, and we complied, boots hitting the floor in a rythmic fashion that always makes my heart swell with pride.

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After we grew silent again, the soldier told us the dwarf corper’s offence.

He had been down on his buttocks all the while others had been standing.

The dwarf, looking quite epic in his khaki and fez cap tried to explain his actions but was greeted with a “shush” and laughter from us.

His punishment would be to march from one end of the expansive compound to the other, and he was to start immediately

Camp life had been altogether adventurous from the early morning whistle calls, the rigorous drills, to the freshly tapped wine and grilled fish at the maami bar, but i wanted to leave soon.

I have high prospects of getting posted to an organization, with a good pay. My uncle works in the Lagos ministry of health, and my mother had made him promise he would fix me.

It was something to hope for, and something some of my colleagues cannot boast of. So, i will say I’m a lucky chap!


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