A Lodge is a temporary dwelling
A Corpers lodge is a temporary dwelling place for Corps member till accommodation is secured. Corpers lodges are built by local governments. Ibadan North’s Corpers Lodge is situated at Agodi Gate within a market environment. Its fence is covered with Shops so it is hard to tell there is a lodge located there save for a small signpost at the gate on which the words “NYSC Corpers Lodge keep off Mgt” is written. Even at that a passerby would think that it is an abandoned project with a gate just as I thought.
On entering into the premises through its pedestrian gate you see two bungalows set in a backdrop of a cassava farm. The compound is quite spacious, fairly tended to due to the farming activity going on. The larger of the two buildings is used by Corps Members. The building was last painted in 1976, the year written on the outside wall. .
On entering the building occupied by the Corp members, there is a room which originally would have been the reception and then the house splits into two wings of rooms, bathroom and toilet. Each room is big enough to accommodate two persons and there are six rooms in the building. At present there are eight residents in the lodge.
Tola(not real name) is a Batch B female Corps member residing in the Corpers lodge, she recounts that on her first visit to the lodge when offered accommodation she refused however when she could not get accommodation in Ibadan due to the high cost she changed her mind and has been living there since August 2010. She reasoned that instead of paying so much for a place she could use a part of the amount to make her room in the lodge habitable considering the fact that the Lodge is free.
The Lodge has some problems; there is no security, no functioning toilet due to a broken pipe that occurred before Tola moved in August 2010, the power supply has been disrupted since January this year a bad transformer is to blame and Water ran last in December 2010. To get water, the residents either go to the Water works across the road or their next door neighbour Eco Bank. That is not all, the ceilings are in a deplorable state so rainy season is not the best of times in the lodge. It can’t get worse than this. On a bright note, there has never been an incident of vandalism or theft.
On the wall in the reception the following words are written;
“OH MY HOME OH MY HOME!
OH MY HOME OH MY HOME!!
WHEN SHALL I SEE MY HOME?
WHEN SHALL I SEE MY NATIVE LAND?
I WILL NEVER FORGET MY HOME
FAREWELL TO THE ANCIENT CITY:
OYO THE PACESETTER- 14TH August 2007”
No doubt anyone who resides in the building would definitely look forward to returning home.
Basically the lodge is like no man’s land as there is no authority at present taking responsibility for it. Anything that goes wrong which cannot be borne by the residents is left that way. This ought not be so, having a Corpers Lodge is a laudable thing and Ibadan North Local Government has tried in that regards however such a good thing should not be left to ruins as it seems to be the case with the Corpers Lodge.
Take away all the problems of the lodge; it is an ideal place to live in. The atmosphere is breezy; the Lodge is centrally located, with the NYSC Secretariat, Ibadan North Local Government, the major market and bus stop all in a walking distance
It is suggested that serious and profound renovations be done on the Lodge as it alleviates the problem of Homelessness among Corps Members. Corporate Bodies are also called upon to do a little Corporate Social Responsibility by renovating the Lodge or better still build more of such facilities. Corporate bodies have benefitted from the services of Corps Members who over the years have provided the much needed extra labour for little fees. A little Giving Back by such Bodies would be appreciated as it would go a long way in alleviating the problem of Homelessness peculiar to Corps Members serving in Ibadan North, thus providing respite for Tola and the next generation of Corps Members that would find themselves in Tola’s shoes