Sunday, December 21, 2014

E go better...

This post is about a recent ruling that greatly and totally touched me somewhere deep deep down inside. Somewhere I know doesn't show often.
A ruling that, tomorrow will make Nigeria be better for our (my) children...

This post is about inequality...[tribalism, gender bias]. 
l live in a country where tribalism and gender bias are the sad norm.

Let me talk about tribalism. As defined by the OXFORD dictionary:-
 {1.1chiefly derogatory.   The behaviour and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group}.

This post is prompted by some beautiful news I came across on Ynaija
The post brought back old memories. Brought up memories I didn't know were still inside of me somewhere.  Like a friend would say, 'the kind of memories that can only reactivated by hypnosis'.

The news as you can find HERE, was about a recent ruling upheld by the Federal High Court, Lagos. 
It was pertaining to the abolition of different cut off marks amongst Unity schools in the Federation. You can take out time to read it if you may. 
I applauded the presiding Judge John Tosho and the former NBA President Olisa Agbakoba (the gentleman who filed the suit).
It indeed was discrimination on grounds of tribe, state of origin and gender. Gender in this case because, girls had to score more than boys in many states.

Now lemme go back memory lane a little. The first time I was stripped of my tribe innocence.
Please, allow me to emphasise that  post isn't meant to stir up unnecessary grievance. It's to applaud the heroes I mentioned earlier and to allow us to hope that tomorrow, we will be judged by our merit and antecedents not be our stats of origin, religion nor tribe.

It's not necessarily about that particular ruling but about hope for tomorrow.

Back to my lane...,

I wrote the Federal Common Entrance examinations (donkey years ago) to get into secondary school. I must have been feeling like some kinda star cos, my score was 2nd best in school that year.
 I was beyond excited cos I made my parents proud. I would be going to school not far from my home, and my uniform would be the beautifully designed red pinafore and white blouse...I would be an FGC student and be reunited with my best friend who was there already. 
Little did I know my dreams were going to be yanked at their tender buds. My mum told me I didn't make the cut off for my state.

Of course, I didn't understand what that meant. After all, I was the 2nd best in my school and my teachers said I was one of the best in the state. 
It was not until she told me my state of origin had the highest cut off score for FGC Port Harcourt and I was a few numbers shy.
However,  my classmates from other states with almost half my score were eligible for FGC because, they were from educationally disadvantaged states. 

How do you explain that to a child? How do you explain that the boys and girls she schooled with from Nursery to Primary 5, people who had the same training, educational exposure,  environmental exposure, diet, coexisted together and developed together ...They are being labelled 'educationally disadvantaged states' and so, are permitted to jump into the next level with lower scores; while she is told 'oops, beat the high bar'. 

I was crushed. My parents were adviced to lobby for a slot. Everyone was doing that. 

I lost interest in the 1st heartbreak. ............

That was the 1st time I knew tribe was an issue in the country. Close our eyes as much as we like, it sticks out like a damned sore thumb. No matter how you paint over a crack, that crack remains until you fix the defect!

I sit in the corner and snort with derision when ever I hear or see Nigerians screaming blue murder cos of racism in America, Asia or Europe. In my heart, I'm saying, REMOVE THE STICK IN YA EYES FIRST. 

Tribalism STINKS worse than racism.

Imagine if it's ever heard that some kid in The USA was denied admission in school when  he scored same as other kids just cos he's black... just imagine the headlines.  
It will scream blue murder. 
Our bloggers will not sleep. Their minions will cuss and cuss; people will make dps of it, Instagram and Twitter will trend for weeks...#noeducationcosforblack.
I meannnnnn,  we no go hear word.
It's the norm here. 
Over here, it's not even up for debate. Your tribe rears its head when you enter a bus, price fish in the market, go to school, look for accommodation, look for jobs, political appointment... (recently, the Anglicans are fighting Catholics over political tussle in Enugu. ..Like seriously! What a joke).

As I earlier said,  this is a post which helps me believe tomorrow will be better. Thank you Judge Tsoho and Agbakoba.  That's a step in the right direction.

I'd like to think these ups and downs helped to form my attitude,  my personality. Don't wait to get served...get up and do it. Life is not a bed of roses.

Alright,........... till whenever I decide to post...........yeah, I'm a boss like that. 


PS: Merry Christmas


  1. Spot on...quota system should have been abolished aeons ago.

    1. That it's been done at all is impressive I must say.

  2. Thanks for the info. I almost suffered the same fate. I'm presently surprised that the silly system has been overruled. Also it is shocking that the govt claim the system was to promote unity yet some states particularly Yobe, had higher cutoffs for females

    1. From my perspective, it makes the 'disadvantaged states' laid back on improving the educationally standards in their states.

  3. Cheers to a future of justice and equality!

    1. I'll drink to that.
      ...just an excuse to drink. No?

  4. This gives us up that one day another Olisa Agbakoba will arise and say No to all forms of corruption. No its not okay to sell federal jobs to miscreants when there are qualified unemployed Nigerians. No, it's not ok to pay for light bill that u don't consume. Our dream of a greater Nigeria must remain. Alive. Thanks Franni for this beautiful piece.

  5. Spot on! The racism 'we' all seem to shout and shake our heads at, sits right with us in the form of tribalism.

    I also first met the quota thing trying to enter a unity school ...and also when going through ma first jamb brochure.