The Tragedy In The Comic Snake Story By Moroti Olatujoye

Just when I thought I had seen it all in Nigeria from the hilarious action movies, to crazy songs, millions of cash discovered in apartments owned by no One, crazy killings, yahoo boys selling Lagos Lagoon and so on, THIS SNAKE ONE REALLY SHOCKED ME.

I went online to see that a staff (I don’t know her name and I honestly don’t care) of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board JAMB had claimed that a snake had been responsible for the over 30 million missing in the board’s finances. A SNAKE??? Really????? Trust Nigerians and their playful habit to make a joke about it (I laughed too though) going as far as creating an handle for the mysterious snake.

Jokes apart, this is humiliating. Humiliating to the nation, that this crazy woman didn’t think of how this would make us look as a nation. After all the games these officials are playing, we are left with vivid clues as to why there have been failures recorded in JAMB’s annual examinations.

If these greedy staffs have finally turned their exam which for some annoying reasons is compulsory to a business venture, tell me why they will pass students when the students would still make them millions in the coming year.  The percentage of students passing WAEC examinations in different states keeps improving, but JAMB’s result success has always been on the low. How logical is this?

Are these jokers saying the same students who sit for an examination that is broader in scope and more in subjects are different from the ones that sit for JAMB? Or is it just that each student has to pay at 10,000 dues to these demi-gods to move on in their education? What exactly is the problem with JAMB, not just with the various stories of burnt cars, missing scratch cards and snakes but with the standard of exams generally? Having written this exam twice in my life before getting into school, I can say that WAEC and NECO were tougher exams to write and most of us passed in Flying colours. So why must JAMB be the exam that makes parents of even the smartest of kids who never fail exams tensed?

For more than half a decade now, over 1.7million candidates have been writing JAMB year in year out. Among all these candidates, less than 45 percent pass with an average of 180 which is not even the prerequisite of varsities all over the country. One continues to wonder what becomes of the fate of even those who are eminently qualified to pass exams but are denied due to a myriad of covetousness or rather inadequacies of these staffs.

The reason became very clear with the emergency of this snake story. They need your money more than they need your children to move forward in their lives. So while we search for snakes that might be with their stolen funds, we must release that maybe this whole JAMB idea is scam, a facade to get money off students to better the lives of a little agency while the world laughs and says our educational system is a mess.

And that’s why this whole issue must not be swept under the carpet. Appalling is another N7m missing after a forth-night from this incident. Its more disheartening to note that at a point in the history of a government that makes the anti-corruption war the nucleus of its administration, the rather mystery snake incident should not be left to go that way. Is this situation not the reason why the EFCC and ICPC were created for?

Why is this awful silence? I think there has to be the proper intervention of these agencies to avoid Nigeria from another international embarrassment.