By Franklin Onwubiko
Their love story started in the kitchen at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Ebonyi State. Two serving NYSC members, Mr Omo Ariyo Peter and Miss Dada Dupe Esther, have proved that the fire of love can be kindled even in the kitchen. The two lovebirds fell in love after cooking together and now enjoy their nuptial bliss.
Omo and Dada, who are members of the Batch B corps members currently serving in Ebonyi State, had completed the traditional marriage rites and would soon walk down the aisle as golden couples.
A graduate of Technical Education from the University of Uyo, Omo (from Oyo State) never thought about marriage until he met Dada, a graduate of Law from the university of Jos (from Kogi State). Fate united them in Platoon 2 during the 21 days orientation programme. Not even the close of the orientation activities and subsequent deployment to places of primary assignment could put them asunder.
In an interview with Campus Sun, Omo and Dada admitted they had never met until the NYSC programme. Like love at first sight, Omo said he fell for Dada the very day he set his eyes on her.
“We served in different capacities while in the platoon. She has this activist personality in her and that stood her out in our platoon. Owing to the fact that she is from Kogi State, she was often called “Kogi” by the Platoon Officer and it gradually crept into the minds of the members of the platoon, hence she was addressed as “Kogi” by all”, Omo explained.
They stole quick glances at each other until one day. Shortly after the camp carnival, it got to the turn of their platoon to cook. Dada, as the Platoon Chef, was in charge and his would-be husband luckily was among the male corps members to assist in the kitchen.
According to Omo, Dada won his heart from the way she discharged her duties. He saw the qualities of a devoted wife filled with motherly love. He quickly made a move or regret losing his golden chance. That night was crucial because camp activities would be closing the next day.
“I saw the woman in her, her selfless service, quality of her meal and her personality. After the cooking, I went straight to her and requested for her phone number, which she declined. I told her I wanted to disclose something personal to her. She wasn’t forthcoming with the phone number but later gave me her Blackberry messenger (BBM) pin. I poured out my heart on the spot. I told her I wanted to marry her but she laughed over it,” he said.
Although Dada laughed hilariously like the Biblical Sarah, Omo didn’t change his mind. However, his chances became quite slim when the apple of his eye was posted to Ebonyi State University, while he was deployed to a different school located two hours distance from the university.
Things started working out for Omo’s good when Dada suffered a disappointment in her bar examination. Failing the exam was a crushing blow and her heart yearned for comfort. Omo became the shoulder for her to lean on during this difficult time. He was always there to encourage, advise and pray with her. Henceforth the friendship blossomed.
Recalling the experience, Dada said, “It was quite stressful for me but Peter was always there to encourage me. What shocked me was during my bar exams, Peter together with a group of friends went to the highest mountain in Ebonyi State to pray for me. They called and sent shots from the mountain encouraging me not to fear as I would pass. To the glory of God, I passed and was called to bar in July, she revealed.
As Omo proposed officially, both parents became involved and after prayers and consultations, they commenced the marriage rites. According to the couple, both parents gave their approval of the marriage. The couple chose their state of service for the wedding after considerations and advice from some NYSC staff. Their traditional wedding ceremony was held on July 18, while the church wedding will hold in September.
In an interview, a close friend to the couple and compeer for the wedding, K-meks Otuya, described the couple as unique. According to him, the marriage process has shown the invisible hands of God at work their union.