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Reporter's Diary: A Corper in Strange Fountain Land

By Yusuff Tosin

Ekiti State was created on October 1, 1996. First observation: Ekiti State has been the most peaceful state I have ever seen.
The only 'but' I have been encountering and which my fellow Corp members have also been lamenting about, is high cost of living. Cost of living is prohibitive, especially in Ado-Ekiti.

As a Corper, one finds it difficult to survive on a meager N19,800 monthly “alawee”. Conversely, I know of some families that survive on this same amount of money in other state capitals like Akure, Ibadan and so on.

I think it's high time state and the local governments looked into this issue of high cost of living in Ado-Ekiti.

In addition, authorities and related stakeholders, should look into the plight of Corp members, especially as regards payment of their state “alawee” in their various places of primary assignments.

My second observation so far; is at my Place of Primary Assignment (PPA}, which is the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Ekiti State Chapter under the able-leadership of Comrade, Rotimi Ojomoleya.

We are enjoying our time serving at our PPA due to his fatherly direction and advise he has been given us. Also, the role he has been playing as the Chairman of NUJ Ekiti State Chapter can't be over emphasized, owing to the fact that he has to a large extent, transformed the union to the admiration of many.

Aside renovating the Union's offices, the NUJ boss has equipped the offices without depending on the state government.
From time to time, the Chairman has been encouraging members of the Union to always be up and doing in feeding the public with balanced information that would promote peace and unity of the nation.

Serving in Ekiti and working with the Nigeria Union of Journalists has influenced me, particularly in developing my interest in politics.
I have already started the art of practical politicking at my weekly CDS group meetings.

I vied for an elective post to be an executive member among corps members which I won. Though it wasn't an easy ride for me, however, due to the experiences I have been able to gather over the time, I was able to defeat my opponents at the poll.

More importantly, the most interesting part of my service in Ekiti State is the professional course I am undertaking at the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) Ado-Ekiti campus.

IIJ is an institution that was established for those who have interest in Journalism and Public Relations. Journalists who do not want to put an end to their careers, have no choice than to grab the opportunity at the IIJ. Since "to be more, is to know more", the course has afforded me the opportunity of widening my horizon of knowledge.

This by implication, has made me to become a budding journalist, at least, for now..

Although, resuming classes after work have not been easy for me, I have learnt to cope and as well enjoy combining both work and school together.

It will interest my readers to hear that I also contested at the IIJ Student Representatives Council for the post of the Vice President in a very competitive election which I equally won. In a nutshell, my opponent was a strong contender as I only managed to defeat her with one vote!

IIJ is a well discipline school that doesn't allow examination malpractices. My initial thought was that, one did not need to study hard before one could pass in the school but on the long run, I got to know that the institution was established on high pedestal and standards..

What informed my initial wrong thought was the adult students I met both in my class and other classes in the institution.

The discipline is really helping us as students of journalism because we are the faces of the institution wherever we go at the end of our course of study.

One thing for sure;as a budding journalist, am beginning to see issues from varying perspectives encased in balanced thought process and views. At least, now, I am beginning to know "somethings about everything". Societal subject matters that used to be foreign to me such as politics, economy and sports among others are beginning to form the basis of my intellectual discourse to the admiration of even my mates!

Who says I have not gained in my service year that is fast coming to a glorious end? The lesson here is that, there will always be time for anything one creates time for. We all have equal time but we don't use it equally. Time waits for nobody regardless of one's status, religious beliefs, political leanings, tribe or colour. Time? Grab it today by using it judiciously.

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