Friday, March 21, 2014

#CODED-ish Gist: [A MUST READ] Uni. Ibadan Graduate Writes Open Letter To GEJ, Titles it "BEFORE I JOIN BOKOHARAM"-

9:36 AM

By Abdulai O. A.

Dear Mr. President
I write to Nigeria and our President today, not as somebody who is proud of his choice of topic, but, as a
frustrated Nigerian graduate who by ways of hopelessness provoked by the inadequacies of our government, is beginning to consider the prospects of identifying with one of the groups against the State.

I am a Nigerian and I love my country Nigeria. I had my Primary and Secondary School Certificates in the North.
After the qualifications, I approached South-Western Nigeria for my Degree where I joined and graduated from Nigeria’s acclaimed best University years ago. I remain a student of Logic and strategy. My first encounter with frustration directed at the State surfaced during my Secondary School days. At that level, I nearly missed my Secondary education because my mum who remains a teacher hardly earned her worth- the State Government would pay her once in eight months. I now had to outsource. I began to serve until I completed my secondary education. My frustration was that the State was unfair to her despite the fact that she took her time to serve it.

As a student of the University of Ibadan, I won several awards. Academically, I was a leader. I was among the three top graduates our Department produced that year. I paid attention to academic details. I paid that serious attention with the hope that when I graduate, I would have the concrete, realistic opportunity to contest for a job. This impression was to be jettisoned few months after.

My first job interview was a scam. I attended the second interview and met over Five Thousand Applicants for a job that required just two slots. I later realized that, that job advert was just ceremonial. They had already employed their candidates but only wanted to deify illegality. The seventh job I applied revealed something to me. When we left for the interview, then I was a corps member with one of Nigeria’s security outfit, I realized that securing a job in Nigeria doesn’t work under the principle of what you know. It rests on who you know first. In fact, many job platforms would require at the prima facie that you fill in your source. Should you indicate your source of information about the job to be a search engine, you will never be considered in the first place until you indicate that you know of the job from ‘a thief that matters’.

While I was busy doing my applications up and down, one of my friends who could not appropriately write his name was on his way to becoming a leader in one of Nigeria’s first-class banks. He didn’t read accounting, he didn’t read economics, he read anthropology. His choice of course was/is not the issue. The issue remains that
this friend never applied for a job for once but got it three months to the time he was to finish his NYSC.

Do you know his secret? He was dating a top politician’s daughter. As I speak, this friend of mine works with the ‘lender of last resort’ as a senior staff. The case of my friend perfectly captures the reason why things would never work in Nigeria, why no innovation, productive steps would be registered, after all, at the end of it all, if you like, know from Maiduguri to Badagry, no one will consider you if you don’t know anybody.

That is why it pisses me off when some hogs sit there and say Nigerian graduates are not employable. Why would they be employable when eighty percent of the ones you induct are ground zero, brought up only because they know you or the other that matters? Why will they do what the job requires when the only knowledge they have is that they know somebody who can press for them, or you want them in for sexual gratification or runz? My roll of applications continued until my 20th application. This time, I reasoned that since I cannot secure a job elsewhere and doesn’t know anybody, I should create a job for myself. I think I made a mistake here.

Instead of trying to set up a legitimate job at that stage, I should have hustled criminally never to get caught for me to survive first before setting up my legitimate business. I didn’t reason that way at first because I felt the government, people in the society who would go to a public arena and tell youths to create a job for them would buy into my idea and support me. Sincerely nobody, no individual despite working with professionals to erect my proposals with demonstration of concrete gain answered me. 

In fact, even those who I managed to text that I am so, so person doing so, so something and that they should allow me to come and present my idea to them never picked my calls thereafter. 
My Vice Chancellor, Senate Minority Leader and my State Governor are victims of this and others I approached. They never allowed me to present my idea to them and never picked my call after the first introduction. Why, because I did not come from somebody that matters- because my father doesn’t hold circles with them.

The job I created which has the potential of employing at least One Hundred and Fifty Nigerians in two years time, at the moment with Eight Corps members working for it began to run its course. The money I needed was Three Hundred Thousand to assure my future and the future of close to Two Hundred Nigerians including the Corps members who shared the dream and joined the movement. Nobody came to my rescue, no individual. Now, the future of that job platform is fuzzy.

Now that it seems I am in losing in everything recommended by the State for me to survive because of lack of support, it seems I have some options. I feel as a student of Logic/Reasoning and Intelligence, since I am of no use to the State, and the State cannot guarantee my future all rounds, I should go against the State by identifying with some of the groups against it. 

The State doesn't know how I survive; that I exist is not known to it. But that group may know. 
I know that Government creates jobs only on paper and at worst, for the children and other relatives of those that steer it. I am not among the categories. Mine is the category of abandoned graduates who, in fact, the government call at random, force them to pay One Thousand Naira for their deaths, gather them in a stadium and kill them in the name of giving them a job.

Now I know also that the people who preach that youth should create jobs instead of depending on Government should not be taken seriously. How can a youth who can barely eat, who although has graduated, is been frustrated and kept out of job by these Chairmen, create a job when you cannot support him/her when he comes to you? In fact, it pays to know that you talk of other ways of psyching one than embarrassing your tongue.

Your Excellency, to stay and die hungry pays less than to die with food in the belly. If you were in my shoe and you had the option of joining Boko Haram, Yahoo Yahoo to feed once and be killed, with killing under probability, and, may be, remain something for your family on the one hand, and to starve and die of hunger because the society has refused to help you in all ways you have tried to be useful within the law, nothing for your family whatsoever, under the circumstances discussed above, which one will you choose? 
I hope I will get this answer before the job I have created will crumble, before the graduates working with me finally give up to consider what no one would welcome but could happily be done by a hungry and frustrated graduate!

Thank You Mr. President
From a frustrated Graduate

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