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BreakingNews 27/7/16 - Unity Schools` Cut-off Marks Vs Federal Appointments: Where is Nigeria`s `Change`?

BreakingNews 27/7/16 - Unity Schools` Cut-off Marks Vs Federal Appointments: Where is Nigeria`s `Change`?

[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - Hope is easy to have; it is less spiritually and mentally strenuous than the demand of faith. However, its burden is greater than that of justice, rights and faith. Every democratic society is, by law, governed by justice and rights and, sometimes, when political expectations mix with faith, it is only because, in all that man plans, there often are rooms for the unforeseen. Therefore, governments that are pro-people often create abundant room to contain exigencies. This informs one of the reasons why every State has the military and the police; they do not want to be taken unawares if, in any eventuality, crisis comes up.
 
Nigeria as a county, I daresay, now lies on the threshold of hope and hopelessness and, therefore, truly deserves this ‘change’ more than anything else: change in its political foundation and mindset. Come to think of it, why should there not be an aggressive and revolutionary change in our political system when, for decades, it’s become blatantly clear to all and sundry that we cannot get anywhere as a county under this political status quo? Our leaders are being unfair to the history of this country and to posterity with their continuous denial of what is and what eventually will be.  
 
I was, as other thinkers are, compelled by the state of things to take an even closer look into our joint political business called Nigeria, and I have come to a conclusion that, from the book of history, posterity may judge me the same way or, maybe even harder than the so-called today’s political class, for doing absolutely nothing to lend positive voice to change in my time. Therefore, I am hereby looking into the so-called Nigeria Unity School system and its Federal Character manifestation in political appointments.  
 
It is my understanding that the so-called Unity School system in Nigeria was put in place by the then military dictator of Nigeria, Yakubu Gowon. According to him, the main objective for the creation of these unity schools was to bring people of diverse tribe and tongues in Nigeria together in a unifying spirit. Gowon, it is said, bought the idea of unity schools when he paid a personal visit to the Federal Government College, Sokoto in 1973 and observed the atmosphere of unity and cordiality among the students regardless of ethnic or religious background. Suffice it to say that his decision to create the unity schools came after the genocide which his government carried out against the Igbo from 19667-1970. In his understanding, compelling, or rather, setting mechanisms for people of these clearly divergent and divisive ethnic nationalities to study under one roof devoid of Nigeria’s true war history in what he called “Unity Schools” was a sure means of containing further dissension or demand for fair play amongst future Nigerians.  To him, it would surely prevent Igbo children whose families were unjustly wasted in the war from asking further questions. It is worthy of note, also, that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a government body which compels the country's graduates into a compulsory one year national service, came about by this very Gowon’s decision to write off the events of the civil war as if they never happened and as if the genocide which he supervised never took place. This very man who killed millions of Nigerians also killed the Nigeria school system in the process of trying to cover up his sins and that of the government. Not minding that scores of youth corpers have died for this selfish vision, we will shortly see how his co-called quota system has so far fostered unity and produced a truly united and happy Nigeria. 
 
Cut-Off Marks for Entrance into Federal Unity Schools for All the 36 States in Nigeria (Including the Federal Capital Territory)  
 
South East: 
 
Abia – Male (130) Female (130) 
Anambra – Male (139) Female (139)
Ebonyi – Male (112) Female (112)
Enugu – Male (134) Female (134)
Imo – Male (138) Female (138)

South South: 
 
Akwa-Ibom – Male (123) Female (123)
Bayelsa – Male (72) Female (72)
Cross-Rivers – Male (97) Female (97)
Delta – Male (131) Female (131)
Edo – Male (127) Female (127)
Rivers – Male (118) Female (118)

 
South West: 
 
Ekiti – Male (119) Female (119)
Kwara – Male (123) Female (123)
Lagos – Male (133) Female(133)
Ogun – Male (131) Female (131)
Ondo – Male (126) Female (126)
Osun – Male (127) Female (127)
Oyo – Male (127) Female (127)



 
North(total)
 
Adamawa – Male (62) Female (62)
Bauchi – Male (35) Female (35)
Benue – Male (111) Female (111)
Borno – Male (45) Female (45)
Gombe – Male (58) Female (58)
Jigawa – Male (44) Female (44)
Kaduna – Male (91) Female (91)
Kano – Male (67) Female (67)
Kastina – Male (60) Female (60)
Kebbi – Male (9) Female (20)
Kogi – Male (119) Female (119)
Nassarawa – Male (58) Female (58)
Niger – Male (93) Female (93)
Plateau – Male (97) Female (97)
Sokoto – Male (9) Female (13)
Taraba – Male (3) Female (11)
Yobe – Male (2) Female (27)
Zamfara – Male (4) Female (2)
FCT Abuja – Male (90) Female (90). 
 
The above list has been in circulation for a while and there has not been any other list which countered it. Therefore, to all, this represents the idea of a unity school in Nigeria and how students in each state qualify for admission. In the words of Prof. Abdulrashid Garba, the Registrar, National Examination Council (NECO) (http://guardian.ng/news/neco-registrar-explains-disparity-in-cut-off-marks-for-unity-schools/), “Performances vary from state to state…It is so because the cut-off marks for such disadvantaged states are usually lower…These school are unity colleges which means you must take along all parts of the country.” Well, it takes only an enemy of unity to see anything uniting in this setup – not even minding that the country uses one curriculum and all students sit for one WASSE. Nevertheless, let us leave this for a moment and look at how Prof. Abdulrashid Garba’s claims reflect on Federal “Character” Appointments and how Gowon’s vision for Nigeria and the Igbo has fared so far. 
 
Nigeria Security Appointments 
 
Positions:                                Regions 
 
Army                                      North 
NSA                                       North 
EFCC                                     North 
Defence                                  North 
Airforce                                  North 
Police                                     North 
SCDC                                    North 
DSS                                       North 
NIS                                              North 
NIP                                             North 
FRSC                                          North 
Fire Service                                 North 
NEMA                                        North 
Customs                                      North 
Defense                                      North 
NIA                                            South 
Navy                                          South 
 
An expose written by Abdulrahman Abdulmalik in Premium Time of August 28, 2015 (http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/189117-outrage-grows-across-nigeria-as-buharis-lopsided-appointments-continue.html) will give you a detailed clue. I do not want to go into other appointments which unashamedly ridicled the so-called Federal Character. However, the latest ambassadorial list where states like Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Ondo and Sokoto were completely ignored or said to not have qualified people for the seat (which, by the way, was also seeded to the North) leaves a very sour taste to the political tongue. 
 
Questions: 
 
It is said that education is the security of the future, if education is the security, therefore, and gives you the means, and if appointments are principally made from academic qualifications before other considerations, why has the North then taken over all security positions when, according to Unity School’s shameless board, it clearly shows that students from the north are mostly cajoled through school and, mostly and probably, given honorary certificates in place of due certificates awarded students from other regions – especially those from the South East? 
 
How come those from educationally ‘very poor; states suddenly come up as more qualified to handle everything regarding the security and future of Nigeria than those who have been proven to have all it takes to steer this country aright? 
 
Clearly, we are in for a terrible and inevitable future as Nigerians unless some form of political revolution is urgently carried out. This, I see, rest squarely of those from the South. Since we have done things in a particular way and we have always failed, is not time enough for us to do things differently? Sadly, it appears that the same North which has remained academically on the ground has been the same people championing the Nigeria cause. Is it a rocket science, therefore, why our locomotion has remained One step forward, two steps back? A stitch in time, they wisely say, saves nine. I believe that a president who truly stands for change for the betterment of all knows exactly what to do. However, like we use to say in Igbo, “Uzu na-amaghi akpu egbe, lee egbe anya n’odu.” Nigeria has drifted into a place where justice, rights and even faith seem dead and where hope has become the costliest of all commodities. This needs an immediate attention.
 
*Photo Caption - As seen.