The Passing Out Parade

Few days became weeks, and weeks became months with the rising of figures. The wall for defense is broken and the watchmen are brutal. (The Story of a brutal year; PART 1)

At school: "hope you all understood what I just explained 'the three arms of government'?" he retired the chalk on a student's desk and required that the other side of the board be wiped off by the 'class head.' "wow, seems everyone understood perfectly. Very well then, I'd like to confirm your understanding by throwing you a very simple question. Are we ready?" "yes, sir." Students responded, "OK, moments ago we concluded that 'government' is not an individual or group of individuals who governs a state but rather it is an institution of the state, that is the 'machinery' set up by the state, to keep the state-organized, run its affairs and administer its various functions and duties. Am I right?" the students replied (in chorus) "yes, sir." "Alright, now my question; The arm of government whose function is basically to protect lives and properties is called what"? Silence was duly observed and sustained for a moment before Jaja raised his index finger to answer, "it's the 'Legislative.'

They are responsible for 'law making' that sees to the protection of the citizens and their properties". "Well said," the teacher commended. "Sir, I think it's the 'Judiciary,'" Thompson counteracted. "really, you can always back up your claim with a reason. I won't mind," the teacher said. "ok, let's hear from Habiba" she was craving to be noticed as her index finger was eagerly rolling in the air. "Sir, I think it's the police and the soldiers. Weapons are given to them to protect life and also properties. They help to implement laws," she said. "wow, that was a good point of view." the teacher commended. "But, the police and soldiers are under an arm of government, which of it?" "the 'Executive.' 

"You see why I love this class. You guys are so smart. A round of applause for yourselves (c'mon, you guys can do better). It was an amazing moment with you guys," he said as he prepared to leave (dusted his note) "uhmm... Jaja, please make sure it doesn't skip your mind to come to pick up your 'test' scripts during break hour. They've been recorded, and I must say, you guys did wonderfully well." "thank you, sir" (students responded). While he proceeded to his desk in the staff room, he ran into the principal who had just come out from the mosque. "good day, sir," he saluted. "Good day, my dear. How was class?" "it was awesome, Sir. The students were very much amazing. I commend your efforts, sir". "Well, my dear God bless you. But you see, it's not only about me. It's a collective thing. At least you just walked out from a class" '. While they argued, one of the staff officials saluted from a distance, "copper"! It was the Examination Officer.

At the lodge: After setting up the table in the backyard. Gabriel was sighted sneaking out through the back door with a towel and an 'extension' (electronic cable) "you mustn't always do that," Tope Advised. "I mean, is it that necessary going out every night to wash and flatten just a 'polo' not minding the fact that there are numerous suckets installed in this lodge" "Oboi, how e dey do you this night? See, eh, I don't have the luxury of time you possess. Just free me. Thank God you rightly said 'lodge,' and the last time I checked, I wasn't moving out of the lodge." "Shuu, no be fight bros. Just showing concern. I wasn't taking it to heart, though." "Oga, keep it to yourself" "please, you guys should just keep your voices low. You won't know the alarm you're blowing. It's late." Samson cautioned. He was in the room trying to prepare cereals while Tope walked in with a 'stainless' cup and a steel spoon. "Bros, na talk I just talk oh... I didn't invite anybody in." The words didn't seem to get to Tope as he sat with him on the mat. "does it even matter? Or do your people forbid surprise visits?" Samson stared at him for a moment "look, my man, I'm not your father. This is the last I have. Unlike you guys, no one is sending me weekly or monthly stipends". Gabriel laughed. "What about the 'allowee'?. I mean, we've been receiving this new wage rate." Of course, you don't have the balls to tell me you're serving a foreign country in a local territory." 

This is the point where Samson displayed his childhood hunting skills by killing a cricket. "and you just sounded like a 'foreigner in his own land.' Have you not been receiving the same 'wage'? Why bother me if what you are paid serves you so well"? "Sake of love, bro" "your papa." He served him cereals on a different plate. "manage it; I don't have much." He said. "thanks, man… hmm, how was work today? Sorry I didn't get to ask you earlier." Again, he stood to kill a spider "it went well. Those students gave me nothing but joy each time I introduced a topic. They have this quick assimilation ability. super-amazing kids." "what did you expect? This is not even a core north. Would you compare them to their southern counterparts"? Tope asked. "the last time I had the opportunity to pay a friend a visit who serves in the north, it was complaining all through my two days stay and even after. That the students were not willing to learn." 

Samson laughs. "well, that must be a typical village in the north." "apparently" (Tope nodded). "And of course, your friend might be a terrible teacher" (They heard a sound of a fallen object) "please, go check it out' Samson said to Tope. Tope hesitated for a while before he could get on with it. He must have calculated the risk of going out to check where the sound was coming from. At the same time, he stood and thought at the door post, oblivious of Samson trying to throw a shoe. He jumped out soon as he noticed a throw behind him. He killed a cricket. "hey, you mustn't scare me with that," he said. "my friend, fear will not kill you. Come back jare, it was my pressing iron that fell off the table" (Gabriel mocked and laughed)

Two weeks later, He jumped off his bed and headed straight to the corner of the house, where he picked a steel bucket. There was no water in any of the containers. Samson was pissed off. "who used the whole of the water and forgot to replace them?". The time was practically against him as he rushed back to his room. There, Gabriel walked in. "Good morning, bro; I heard you were mentioning something about used water." Samson ignored him. He was carried away by the urgent need to leave the house. "na you I dey talk to bros," Gabriel called his attention. "and so what? What does it seem to you that I'm doing? You guys decided to use all of the water – the same I singlehandedly fetched. You know how tedious it is to successfully get access to water in this part of the country. Aren't you happy that I'll be going to work without bathing? Bravo to you guys!." "you talked of which water? The same you banned me from going close to. Do I have to scream to unfold the reality to you; the fact that you pour them in the name of chasing a rat last night." Tope threw a reminder at him. "I'm pretty sure he didn't check the bucket." Said Gabriel. "he no check am. Always looking for a thing to kill". Samson, being dumbfounded at the moment, looked at both sides and said before he left, "well, whatever."

At School: "Good morning, sir," the students greeted. "Good morning class. How was the weekend? Hope you helped mummy and daddy at home during the weekend? If you did that, let's see your finger in the air" (the whole class raised their fingers). "This is ridiculous," said the teacher "someone just lied?" (students laughed). "well, that's enough. I know everyone in this class is 'home-made.' Your parents must be proud of you." He walks to the middle of the class as though looking for someone. "where is Thomson?" he asked. "hmm? (Students expressed confusion)." they were just noticing his absence. A few minutes later, as the teacher went straight to the blackboard, Thomson walked in like a snail. "here he is, sir," Bola reported. The teacher turned around, but Thomson was already seated. "why are you just entering the class, uncle Tom?" the teacher said, "and you'd better be honest." "I…" (Thomson stuttered). "Well, I don't have time for this. But try to improve on your punctuality next time. OK?" "ok, sir." Thomson nodded. 

"Alright, from the syllables, we are still on the revision. last week we revised the topic 'Democracy,' and the class was quite interactive. Right?" (students responded) "yes, sir." "we said and agreed that Democracy is a system of government by the people, of the people, and for the people. We then agreed that the central focus of Democracy is the people. We also discussed the two types of Democracy; direct and representative. In a direct democracy, we said it's the people who directly deliberate and decide on legislation. But In a representative democracy, the people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation, such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy.

Today, we will look at the various elements of Democracy". "write!" he instructed. "It includes a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; and the rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. Hence it is characterized by legal equality, political freedom, and the rule of law. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no unreasonable restrictions can apply to anyone seeking to become a representative, and the freedom of its eligible citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties, which are typically protected by a constitution. Hence it is undemocratic to violate the human right in a seemly Democratic setting." 

While he yet taught, the school bell rang. It was time for 'breakfast.' But most of the students were reluctant to leave the class. "uhmm... You really have to go. I don't want to deprive you of your leisure time with your peers. It's your right. You go and enjoy it. Next time, we shall meet again, and the class shall be more interactive than ever." His phone buzzed. "Hello," "hello babe, it's Hilary." "oh, babe... What's up with this strange ID? Hope you're good?" "yea, I am. Just missed you, though. As for the ID, There hasn't been a power supply recently. I needed to speak with you, so I had to ask my neighbor. (he chuckled) (both laughed) "Hope you're good over there? And that reminds me, have you called mum? The last time I visited, she told me to warn you to be careful (North is like a wild forest). "North, like every other place in this country, is like a wild forest." "particularly where you're standing. Well, that's by the way. If you love mama and me, you have to stay safe. When is your POP?" "Anytime soon. September, I guess" "oh, thank God. You will soon get your ass back to me." (both laughed) "Eerrmm… babe, I got to go now. The principal just called." "OK, please do take care of yourself and Mama, and I look forward to seeing you soon" "alright, babe, I love u… bye."

SUNDAY MORNING

"He must be a psych. Otherwise, why would a sane guy leave the comfort of his room to a ridiculously lonely corner about a hundred meters behind the lodge in the name of 'wash and dry." "well, it baffles me as well. But none of my business anyway." Samson said to Tope as they gossiped about Gabriel's attitude of going to the back of the house with a towel, a soap, and an electric iron. "aren't you going for service today?" Samson asked Tope while he picked a piece of rag by the corridor. "Does it mean you've exhausted all the polish you and I went to the market to purchase just a few days ago? Bros, na food?" (Tope expressed surprise). "wetin you expect? Do I look like a shoemaker? I expected you to be well informed that this neither falls within the purview of my line of discipline nor is it my profession. Nevertheless, I'm willing to learn if you're willing to teach me, bro". "Your father." (Tope abuses). 

Samson, not minding all that was said to him. He went straight ahead to the back of the lodge where waters were stored (Tope followed). His attention was called by the sound of a moaning man behind closed doors. "That is an erotic sound," Tope said "shiii," he asked Samson to maintain silence as they quietly traced the sound. "It sounds like Gabriel," Tope said, "but where is he? He is supposed to be here either washing or ironing." Samson complained. "...Supposed'! But he not here" (Tope chucked) "let's find out." The closer they approached the bathroom, the louder and clearer the sound. "Do we have a female copper in this lodge?" Samson asked in surprise. "I don't know until we find out," Tope said as he stretched forth his arm to open the door. Gabriel came out looking deranged. "what? What are you two doing here?" "No, we should be asking you. What exactly were you doing in there?" "How does that concern you? You guys were peeping on me while I took my bath. How long have you been here? Wait. You don't seem to know the weight of the crime you've just committed. Do you? Section 4 of…" "spare me that stupidity you're trying to play" (Samson interrupted) "you can only fool yourself, bro. I'm off to church."

At the church

"you see, my friend, if only you could be like David, things would go smoothly for you. He was the man that understood the 'mercy' of God. That Is why he could be addressed as the 'man after God's heart. That young man knew how to be humble before his maker. You will not know what His mercy can do for you until you start being humble. This is like the saying from the Holy book, 'my people perish for lack of wisdom' – wisdom to be humble. Guilt has the capacity to deprive you of your rights in the kingdom. Until you conquer your guilt, you can not access the kingdom. To conquer your guilt requires 'humility' – where you acknowledge your weaknesses and inadequacies by 'sincerely' asking Him for mercy. This lies the strength to conquer impossibilities and to survive. Just as it is written, 'by His mercy, we are not consumed' and 'I can do all things through Him that strengthens me. 'Mercy.' (Let's pray)."

Samson, being a bit late, was yet moved by the words of the preacher (he wept). By his left was a young man, a fully kitted NYSC member. He portrayed with his face on the ground as he cried. When Samson saw that he was prostrated in his white-crested shirt, he knelt down. "Lord, I may not be a good child, but for the sake of my mum and Hilary, show me mercy." "please help Gabriel to overcome his weakness. I know he does not like the idea of masturbation. It must have been a burden to him. He needs a deliverer." The service was over immediately; the last hymn was read, and the grace was shared. "Hello" He reached out to a corper and a member of the church. "Hello," he responded (with a smile), "I am Corper Samson, serving in this LGA." "wao! Nice to meet you, copper (extends a hand for a shake) I'm Praise, serving here as well" "well (smiles) it's my pleasure to meet you, Praise, and a privilege I must confess." "how do you mean, Mr. Sam?" (Chuckled) "I saw how much you love God back there; it was indeed challenging to me. I wish I could be like you, bro." Praise laughed. "well, it's fine, but the thing is that you can't fake to love Him, and you can't love Him by yourself. You need His Spirit to help you love Him.

I can't even help you nor impart this love to you." "hmm, OK" "yea, just try to be regular in church services. It will help" "that's fine. I will try to make it right with Him." "yea, please do" "so, tell me. How are you preparing for the forthcoming POP?" "I have been devoting my thinking towards that. But it's not coming anytime soon. Right?" "what is not coming anytime soon? You mean you didn't get the update that went viral on social media last night" "No, I didn't. I exhausted my monthly subscription earlier than then. What's the news?" "The news is that; we're putting off our khaki by Thursday next week." "you don't mean it" ( he screams) "wao, this is indeed good news. But wait a minute, how come I haven't seen you around?" "Does it matter now? (He laughed). "Eerr…hmm it... I don't think so, bro, but 'Freedom at last!

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