To be in love is to be in bondage.Love is a universal language.Hadiza is a Fulani girl that I met during my youth service in Niger state.I met her by chance.My eyes caught her tall frame with robust cheeks.She was a paragon of beauty.She was wearing a colourful hijab on this fateful day.I tried to resist the temptation of chatting with her but my inner spirit inspired me to question her further.She spoke a fluent English despite her Fulani accent.
She was in her early 20s when I set my eyes on her on Bosso Road in Minna. Hadiza was a student of Ahmadu Bello University studying Political Science.I was visiting the NYSC office in Minna to settle personal issues at the youth service office.As a detribalised Nigerian,I would have married Hadiza shortly after my NYSC programme but destiny finally separated both of us. After the informal introduction.
She introduced herself to me as Hadiza(Don’t worry about the surname!) and I told her to call me Olu. ‘Asalam Aleikun sister.Are you also a youth corper?’ I tried to force her to speak.I was fully dressed with NYSC uniform,like a mini-soldier man.
“No,I am from ABU,Zaria.I only came to Minna to see my uncle who is travelling to Saudi Arabia next week for the holy pilgrimage.”
“I am a corper,a Geography graduate from the University of Ilorin.I was first posted to Wawa village near Kainji/New Bussa town and later re-posted to Mokwa town due to some problems.But I still wish to serve in Minna.I came to Minna to see one top NYSC official.He is a friend to my former university lecturer.” “Any luck in serving in Minna.” Hadiza asked me with pity.
“No luck.I was told to either move to Bida,Lapai or Kontagora but no way to serve in Minna.”
“Where are you staying now?” Hadiza asked me. “I am currently staying at the Army barracks with one soldier that I met during my camp in Paiko.He is a kind-hearted Hausa man.He also work as a security guard at IBB’s house.Maybe he can also assist me to serve in El-Amin International school owned by IBB’s wife.I learnt they are paying good money for youth corpers.’
“Don’t give up my brother.You’re free to try your luck.Minna is a wonderful city to serve.Mokwa is like a village to me.” Hadiza said. My instinct advised me to stop beating around the bush by telling Hadiza my true mission:to express my ‘love at first sight’ for her.Delay could be dangerous.Hadiza studied my body language that I was deeply in love with her within the few minutes of our conversation.She was planning to travel to Zaria the next day as I was also planning to return to Mokwa since all efforts to serve in Minna failed.