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  • Post By Ibrahim Ishaya
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The first word you hear on arrival at school is "NMS BOY". That is the name of the potential soldier from the day he arrives till the day he passes out. Immediately he arrives, he is drilled in order to get that crude life of the bloody civilian out of him- to be moulded into a disciplined and loyal element of the army. He is taught to sleep by 2359 hours and wake up by 0429 hours. His first assignment in the morning is to tidy his environment, go for morning PT, then breakfast and go to class.

Once in every week, he falls in front of the military wing where he is taught Field craft, Tactics, Weapon handling, Map reading, Signals and other military subjects. He is taught attention and stand at ease by number. Oh my God, when shall it end ?", he laments. He starts discarding that bloody nature in him. He is now a soldier and nothing else matters. He waits patiently for the holiday. His boots shinning, his head carrying a fine haircut. He carries his bag and walks shoulder high to the bus stop.

In the town he is the toast of everybody. The little children wave at him; so does everybody he come across. He acknowledges their greetings with a smile or the nod of the head. As days rolls in to weeks, weeks into months and months into years, he finds himself in class six. He sits for his final exams - SSCE and after that he waits anxiously for his passing out day. He rehearses the parade for a whole month. "I must be at my best that day", he keeps saying. Then the great day finally comes. The parade forms up. The reviewing officer's address is over. The Band plays "Till we meet again". Tears roll down his face. " Shall we meet again ?" he keeps asking himself. The passing out platoon then files past.

The most dreaded moment has come, the title has changed from mere NMS Boy to Ex-Boy. Then you hear wailing and tears flow freely. "So after six years of comradeship, is this how we shall part?" They keep asking themselves.

To the Nms boy, his passing out day is a mixed day. He is happy that he is passing out, and he is sad that he is loosing something he does not know. But what else can he do? Everything that has a beginning must surely have and end. That is the cycle of the NMS BOY.

The Junior Leader Magazine 1995 page 62

Ibrahim Ishaya

"I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it."

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