In the course of my business yesterday, I entered an
office and came across a petition written by a serving
NYSC member. After reading the petition (an
acknowledgement copy), I felt so terribly disgusted
with the system and decided to do something about it,
at least sharing it online might force the authorities to
do something about this. I had to ‘scan’ the letter with
my phone to avoid detection, pardon me if the clarity
is compromised. I have taken the pains to reproduce
the petition for easy legibility.
No. 11 Crescent,
Asaba, Delta State
West Africa Examination Council.
Through the Abuja Zonal Office,
Abuja Zonal Office,
P.M.B 67, Garki,
COMPLAINT AGAINST THE UNETHICAL AND CORRUPT PRACTISES BEING CARRIED OUT IN CENTRAL DEMONSTRATION COLLEGE IDIKU-OKPOMA, YALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF CROSS RIVER STATE, AND BEING ORCHESTRATED BY THE PROPRIETOR, MR. CHRISTOPHER USHIE.
APPEAL FOR YOUR URGENT INTERVENTION AND INVESTIGATION
It is with heavy heart and a great sense of responsibility which I owed my conscience, God, and above all, to my country Nigeria and her great future, that I write this letter of complaint. My name is Onwuma Kanebi George, a batch ‘B’ National Youth Service Corps member, presently serving in Cross River State, with state code: CR/14B/0621, and my place of primary assignment being Central Demonstration College, Idiku-Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
This complaint is to expose the pervasive, disturbingly corrupt practice and criminal proposition being carried out by the officials and teachers of Central Demonstration College, Idiku-Okpoma; headed and orchestrated by the Proprietor Mr Christopher Ushie, and disdainfully foisted, against their better judgement and objection, on the unsuspecting and hapless NYSC members.
Sequel to the forthcoming WAEC, the school authority, supervised and managed by the Proprietor Mr Christopher Ushie, mandated and compelled WAEC candidates to pay the sum of N 12,000 (Twelve Thousand Naira) each as “cooperation fee”. This indecent fee is to enable the institution, examiners and invigilators ‘corroborate’, facilitate and ensure that each candidate passes the examination, by hook or crook. Simply put, the agenda is to facilitate examination malpractice. The heart wrenching part of this ugly development was that indigent students that cannot afford the ‘cooperation’ fee were prevented from coming to school until the said money is paid. This is wickedness of the highest order and should not be ignored whatsoever.
Sir, no matter how one looks at this scenario, it is ignoble to ignore this travesty of the highest order; an act every man/woman of good will should take an exception to, stand firm and absolutely make sure it is thwarted. What kind of leaders of tomorrow are we breeding, that pupils now have to pay ‘cooperation fee’ in an educational institution, to education officials to coordinate subversion of the norm, and through malpractice, pass a government administered examination? Pupils like these, will obviously ‘sort’ their way through high institutions and come put as under-cooked graduates, an ugly development that is now rampart in our educational sector. Besides, the school in question has no science laboratory or technical workshop, a few inexperience and half-baked teachers (which are largely complemented by NYSC members).
Our vehement objection to the payment of illegal N12,000 (Twelve Thousand Naira) each as “cooperation fee” by the students ignited a chain of traumatising events that have put us (coppers) in a great deal of pain, frustration and suffering. Firstly, on hearing of our concern on the “cooperation” fee from the Principal, the first thing the Proprietor did was to summon us to his office and threatened to deal with us for questioning his authority and trying to run his school for him. Mr. C. Ushie, berated us severally and ticked us off for not “minding our own coppers business”; that he does not care if we petition him, in his own voice; “I am the chairman of malpractice”.
In a feeble attempt to salvage an already spiralling situation, we (NYSC members) reported the incident to our Local Inspector (LI). This turned out to be our greatest undoing as on the next day, the Proprietor yet again, summoned us and blatantly told us that for daring to report him, that he will make us regret crossing him. He then ordered us to leave his school. The reprimand did not stop there, the next day (12/3/2015), the school Principal issued us a query from the school and instructed us to reply same within 24 hours. The said query is attached to this correspondence.
I replied my own query the next day and on attempting to dully submit same, the Proprietor ordered the security officials to bundle us off his property, that he does not need our services any longer. It is so unfortunate and degrading; to say the least, that serving NYSC members were bundled off like common thieves from their place of primary assignment, only because they objected to corrupt practice. We immediately called our LI and intimated him on the recent development. He came to the school and tried to assuage the Proprietor, but when that seems to be yielding no fruit, he pleaded with us to leave the school, that we will make sure we get a replacement as soon as possible. At this juncture, it is imperative to state that going by the interaction between the LI and the Proprietor, one can comfortably insinuate that the duo’s relationship transcend above formal.
We left the school and went back to our lodge, while waiting for the LI to “fix” the situation as he promised to do. The waiting did not last long. On Tuesday, 17/3/2015, a team of police men came to our lodge and informed us that they have been ordered to remove us from the property by the owner. The coppers’ lodge was provided for by the school, it houses NYSC member doing their PPA in the school. Our efforts to explain the delicate nature of our situation to the overzealous police men fell on deaf ears as we were forcefully evicted from the lodge. I tried to and indeed did capture the incident with my phone when a police man who noticed my action came and forcibly seized my phone. After much pleading, he accepted to return the phone but on the condition that I shall delete every picture in the phone. I complied and my phone was returned to me. Suddenly, NYSC members were jobless and homeless for daring to speak out in the face of evil.
This petition is to bring to your notice, the level of depravity that an academic institution has descended into, and the length the perpetrators can go to achieve and cover their nefarious scheme. As a corps member, I do not have any capability whatsoever to change an age long practice, but I do have the ability to speak out against foul scheme and complain to the relevant authorities.
Dear Sir, I heartily urge you to use your exalted office and the inherent powers therein, to investigate, sanction and if possible, prosecute any individual found guilty of corrupt and criminal misconduct. Evil thrives in a society only when the few righteous refuse to stand against it.
Yours in service to humanity,
Onwuma George Kanebi