Corpers' Lodge

My NYSC Experience: Azaya (10)

We left Gembu around 7.30am for the six hour journey to Jalingo. The journey was uneventful and not as scary as when I first came up. After the first time, you pretty much get used to the terrain of that area. It was still beautiful to watch though, but not scary anymore. We got to Jalingo around 1pm the same day and found our way to a luxury bus park somewhere close to ‘Road Block’ in Jalingo. We saw a luxury bus that was supposed to leave by 3pm for Onitsha. We paid and then went somewhere to eat our first meal of the day.
Sometime around 3.30pm, we left Jalingo for Onitsha in one of the slowest and most frustrating journeys of my life.
By experience, it takes about four to five hours to get to Katsina-Ala in Benue State from Jalingo and in seven to eight hours, you would have left Benue state altogether. But by 2am, eleven hours after we left Jalingo we were still somewhere in Benue. We had to stop and sleep in a fuel station somewhere till about 5am when we resumed the journey. During the night, a goat that was bought by one ‘Corper’ that was tied to the top of the bus succeeded in eating the yams of another passenger on top the bus. This caused some ruckus around 4am that night.
This bus was so slow and ponderous that even motorcycles were overtaking us. Coupled with the stuffiness and over loading of the bus, this was by far the worst long distance journey I had ever undertaken.
Around 3pm of the following day, we were still somewhere in Enugu. This was 24 hours after we started this journey. Goldie dropped at 9th Mile in Enugu to continue onwards to Ebonyi State. By 4pm, our bus had broken down at Oji River. After about an hour of no solution, I decided to take another bus down to Onitsha. I got to Onitsha around 5.30pm and left for Port-Harcourt sometime after 6pm. We got to PH around 9.30pm and by 10.30pm I was home.
The next day, I swore never to enter a luxury bus again for the rest of my life.


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