All the theories collapsed and one young girl made it happen: Maths and engineering are for boys because girls do not like numbers! Nonsense. Over the last few years, girls are running the numbers while boys continue winning in their video games. But for all these theories, one has confused me: why should the government of Anambra state be opening palm wine, celebrating the success of a young girl who actually schooled in Ogun state, as the lead celebrant?
I mean, if Nigeria is what you should expect, Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwu Agnes, the best JAMBITE, should be the pride of Ogun state. Magically, a governor was congratulating his counterpart in Anambra state for producing the best JAMBITE. But Egoagwuagwu never schooled a single day in Anambra state.
The first time I heard about the best ten candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), aka JAMB, I was able to learn their various states of origin and their courses of choice. When I noticed that the first two candidates are from my state, I searched to see the schools that produced these wonders. I was hoping to see that they were students of one of the good schools in Anambra State, but alas, I found out much later that Maduafokwa Egoagwuagwu Agnes, the overall best candidate, schooled in Ogun State. The question I asked myself then was, “Why then should Anambra State take the glory while Ogun State did the job?”
This is not a case of being biased, but rather that of pointing out errors in our system. You can imagine suffering to raise a child from infancy only for her mother to come around when that child is an adult to claim her and then take all the glory that comes with the child’s achievements. Yes, I know a mother is irreplaceable, but the woman that raised that child should also be acknowledged at every point of the child’s life and success. Hence, there’s a need to acknowledge the players in these candidates’ success.
Nigeria needs reforms if we hope to make progress. It is painful to see how Nigeria operates: it does not look like a nation with all these smart people we meet everywhere. I spoke with a young man in our Tekedia Mini-MBA last week. His name was evidently Igbo, but as I tried to speak Igbo, he explained that he was born in Ife (Osun state), and he NEVER visited eastern Nigeria. He did explain that he could “understand” Igbo, but could not “speak” it. Yet, his political and national service would be tethered to eastern Nigeria even though this is a real Ife boy.
Buhari and Osinbajo should fix this national tribal paralysis by using law to discontinue state of origin for state of residence. Once a Nigerian lives in a state, for at least 6 months, all rights should accrue to him or her for that state.
It is getting ridiculous how we are still running Nigeria in 2020. Can some be annoyed for once in Aso Rock and save this nation? As we congratulate Agnes, and feast on her success politically and otherwise, Nigeria should understand that we can have more like her if we have better structures in this nation. The Ogun state governor should own this moment, and not his Anambra state counterpart. Yes, Ogun state raised Agnes, not Anambra state; all accolades should go to Ogun.
Comment: Even if state of Origin is erased in papers, I don’t think it can be erased from our minds. What if as an Abia girl I am by origin and have schooled and lived in different States, how will the Government handle such scenarios Sir?
My Response: Your new state of residence where you lived MOST of the last 6 months should be what matters. You can run and vote in that state, not the state of your father (as always the case) or where you were born. By doing that, we begin to detribalize. Our tribalism is rooted in the law we have now. But if we change the rule book, our actions will evolve. Born in Lagos as Adamu Musa, you are a Lagosian. But moved to Abia and lived there for 2 years, you become an Abian and can contest governorship there. Your mindset becomes what can make my living place better!