Paul Orude, Bauchi
A Lagos-born woman who has just completed her mandatory one-year National Youth Service in Bauchi is pleading with her father to allow her to stay back in the State she has grown to love.
Speaking with Daily Sun in Bauchi, Ms Adejare Adeola, who attended Blossom School, Lagos, for her primary education, and Command Secondary School, Lagos, for her secondary education, said she fell in love with the Bauchi after her national service and wishes to remain there.
The 23-year-old Marketing graduate of the Lagos State University (LASU) revealed that she had never been out of Lagos until her national service.
‘I first had an interest in Bauchi when I read a book about the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s Prime Minister who was assassinated in 1966. I was in secondary school,’ she said.
‘The book really portrayed Bauchi and that was when I started having Bauchi in my imaginary brain but I never imagined that I would be in Bauchi,’ Adeola, said.
The former NYSC member, who graduated in May, said she was worried when she saw that she was posted to serve in Bauchi.
‘My parents were apprehensive that I was going to come to the North where Boko Haram was,’ she said. ‘They were afraid that I won’t return safely. People told us a lot of stories about Bauchi. I was scared.
‘I am a Christian and they told me you can’t mention the name of Jesus, that if you mention the name of Jesus they would cut your throat. I even had a village mentality that the people in Bauchi were not exposed. Just to serve my fatherland, I decided to go and redeploy to Lagos after orientation,’ she said.
Fortunately for Adeola, upon coming to Bauchi for her Orientation, her perception of the State began to change fast.
‘I was shocked and surprised when I came here because everything I was told was totally different. Everything I head was balderdash.’
‘The people are very friendly and are exposed. I had a village mindset about Bauchi, but I was surprised to see the place is developed. I was thinking it is only Hausa language that is spoken but English is widely spoken.
‘Everything I was told was a lie, that you can’t mention Jesus; but I was surprised because there were churches everywhere around. I was surprised to even see my church, Gospel Faith Mission, in Bauchi State.
‘The environment is lovely and attractive, unlike Lagos that everywhere is jam-packed. Hold up, no space here is beautiful and close to nature,’ Adeola said
The indigene of Abeokuta North, Ogun State, said she has learned to be friendly, to accept people.
‘The people here are tolerant and friendly. They mingle and they are united.’
‘I don’t think I can survive in Lagos again. I just love Bauchi,’ she said.
‘I have been here for close to 15 months and God has been keeping me. I have been surviving and there is nothing like insecurity. Before I came, I heard stories like if they start their fighting it is strangers that are victims, but by the grace of God everything will be okay,’ she said.
On how she intends to survive in Bauchi far from home in Lagos, Adeola said: ‘I have the spirit of entrepreneurship and I have been doing well here in my fruit salad business.
‘I am able to meet demand and make gains.
‘I make fruit salad and take to banks and other institutions here. I learned it in the Corpers’ Lodge. I looked at the environment and discovered that it is not done here, unlike in Lagos where there are thousands of such businesses.
‘If it were to be in Lagos, there are so many letters I have to submit; but the banks here at the mention that I am an ex-Corper they give me access and support. There are potentials. I sell between N3,000 and N4,000 daily and I save N50,000 monthly since I started,’ she said.
Adeola’s next step is to take her business to the next level but she ponders how to get the blessing of her parents.