I studied pharmacy in the University and did very well, I was however faced after school with the reality of the fact that there was no field of pharmacy practice that appealed to me.
I had few options if i was going to practice the profession in Nigeria – It was either i went ahead to be a medical rep, in which case, i would have a brand new official car to move around ‘hawking drugs’and earn a paltry pay, be a hospital pharmacist (sit in a cubicle in a hospital and dispense drugs to patients), go back to academics to become Mrs Lecturer or set up a private community practice in which case i would sell drugs, this is one thing that some of our Eastern brothers have made to be far from appealing. I had my 1 year internship and NYSC in government hospitals (Military and then Police Hospitals) cos i was going to have ample time for business and myself (9am-2pm working hours) and the pay was far better than private hospitals.
I finished these two programmes and barely a month after, got married. All the while, i had done a self assessment and knew that the probability of my practising pharmacy was very low. I got a few job offers but they weren’t quite what i wanted, so i went to french school, picked up my beadmaking business which i had neglected for a while and generally got busy.
Along the line, vacancies were sent out at Police Medical Services where i served for Doctors, Pharmacists, etc . I never considered applying cos i thought, ‘Olopa ke? i.e. “Me, go do police?” As far as i was concerned, the police was stigmatised and i didn’t want to be a part of the mess. I thought of what my friends who worked in big, nice sounding companies would say, it was for sure they would be amused, how relevant would i still be among my professional friends?…and so on. As i was telling myself no way for police, another thought came to my mind. It was the picture of Dora and the impact she was making in NAFDAC as a pharmacist. I then reconsidered things and told myself i would join the force and make a difference, the decision gave me a good feeling but police? Naa; coupled with this however, i got serious encouragements from my parents, my boss who supervised me during NYSC there and colleagues; they highlighted the benefits of the job especially the ‘job security’and the fact that i could do without coming to work in the ‘black and black’ uniform so most people don’t need to know i work with the police! (A typical case of eating my cake and having it!), moreso, jobs were scarce. I got convinced and picked the form and waited.
Summarily, i’ll say that the interviews spanned through 1 whole year (about 4 of them) and they all took place in Abuja. Eventually, i made the final list and was told to come for an accreditation exercise to confirm my data and get an official code. This exercise was scheduled to take place on the due delivery date of my little angel, so i didn’t go.It took place in Kano and my younger sister offered to go there to fix things for me. She got back and said we should expect a message on when we’ll commence work. I went to the Lagos office some months later but was told things were on hold. It’s been over 2 years now and nobody that went through the process has resumed (little wonder we haven’t resolved many of the killing cases). Fortunately for me though, i changed jobs recently and i’m doing something i’m passionate about, i’m having fun.
Last week Friday while i was at work, i got a call from a lady who we served together at the Police hospital saying that forms were out for the same positions as the ones we had applied for and done interviews for, over 2 years ago! Registration was meant to be on-line and i checked their website as soon as i dropped her call- it was under maintenance. She called me about 3 times within 5 minutes to find out if i had downloaded the forms and printed them out.I was shocked and couldn’t believe that this lady would still consider going through another round of stress, risk and uncertainty. It’s so glaring to me that it wasn’t worth it afterall, i would rather do what i enjoy than enter a system cos it promises security. Are they worth it? Do you think it makes sense to pick up my plan of making a difference in the force? I bet i have every reason to say again today, ‘OLOPA KE?’ No way o!