By Josf Omorotionnmwan
APPARENTLY, ours is a chicken republic in which the chicken is greater than the republic. We have discovered one good thing about the land, though in whatever you do, you have a choice.
Contemporary secondary school leavers now have a choice between the WAEC and NECO Senior School Certificates.
As society grows, its component parts also grow along. With time, there will almost be as many institutions of higher learning as the people, with each person almost having his own university.
In such a surplus age, standards will almost be lost because there will be various university degrees, the good, the bad and the ugly. But you still have a choice. By our reckoning, this renders unnecessary, the current debate on the desirability or otherwise of the Federal Government’s intention to establish six more universities.
As symbolized by the current scramble for university admissions, even where our children know that they would be graduating into unemployment, they are still hungry for education.
In the work place, what should normally have provided a widening choice for professionals is gradually turning sour and our people must fight over everything? In the beginning, we had the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA), which in this country later metamorphosed into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Much later, a second professional accounting body, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) came on board. That was the beginning of the struggle for supremacy and they are now in court to determine who is superior. This squabble is unnecessary. Where does it locate the aptitude tests in the workplace?
Even if there are a hundred professional bodies, it is the function of the placement tests to separate the good from the bad.
In the United States of America, for instance, anti-discrimination agencies have boxed government authorities to the tight corner where in most fields, it is now an offence for government departments to stipulate university degrees on adverts for job openings.
In a land of equal opportunities, the demand for university degrees is seen as a discrimination against High School graduates.
The ‘Catch 55’, though, is that the contents of the aptitude tests and the interviews leading to the jobs are such that invariably, only those who have been through the university curricular can pass them.
Unemployment is clearly the bane of our society. It is not unusual that you intend to engage five accountants and you receive five thousand applications; meanwhile, a long list of preferential candidates comes from the Presidency and other high places; what major role can even the best aptitude test play in such a setting?
And to the chagrin of ICAN, ANAN leadership, which is better entrenched in government, may push in more of its members. And so, the struggle continues.
Right now, none of the people running around, wanting to be our next President is showing any blueprint of how he wants to ameliorate the unemployment situation. Rather, their major preoccupation has been on the issue of zoning.
On Tuesday, November 8, 2010, we had a new entry. Forty-two months into his 48-month tenure, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan was told that he had been an illegal occupant of the Government House and he was quickly evicted.
Of course, no one expected him to retain his full mental alertness at that point but a man who has some of the best brains around him can certainly afford to think more, talk less and goof less.
Since that judgment, Uduaghan has said much but we shall restrict ourselves to only two short statements from him: “I accept the verdict of the court” and “I will be re-elected”.
Perhaps unknown to Uduaghan, by accepting the verdict, he has accepted the annulment, which means that he has never been elected in the first place and which also means that for 42 months, in popular parlance, he enjoyed a stolen mandate.
How can he now turn round to put something on nothing by claiming that he will be re-elected to a position to which he has never been elected?
Let us assume for once that it was the INEC that stole the mandate because that was the body that fraudulently declared Uduaghan winner of the election.
In this country, if a man is caught in possession of any stolen goods, say a chicken, he is thrown into jail and such a man can never think of qualifying to contest for the position of even a dog catcher.
But here we are, applauding a man who was in possession of a stolen mandate for 42 months; and we think he is still qualified to contest a credible election? Which, then, has a greater value, the chicken or the State?
And the National Assembly does not see anything wrong with a situation in which electoral offenders must continue to go unpunished! Rather, they are more interested in having every legislator as a member of the National Executive Committee of his party.
They must now run the legislature and the party aground!
Yet, we are in a country where everything about election is money. The rigging of the so-called re-run election planned for three months hence started way back in April 2007.
In 42 months of expensive legal tussle, Great Ogboru must have become totally pauperized; and in 42 months as an illegal holder of the power of the purse, Emmanuel Uduaghan has become thoroughly yoked, financially; we are now calling for a re-run election. Re-run election, my foot!