A couple of weeks ago, something really strange and potentially disastrous happened in Owerri, the Imo State capital. A certain Miss Onyinyechi Ibeaga emerged winner of the Miss Imo 2009 beauty pageant organized by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Owerri.
At the grand finale of the pageant, the Imo State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Ada Okwuonu, offered the girl an automatic admission into the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, to study any course of her choice.
After setting this very dangerous precedent, the deputy governor then urged parents to allow their daughters to participate in beauty pageants. The implied promise in her exhortation is that future winners of the Miss Imo pageant would also be rewarded with automatic admissions or even outright degrees!
Why not? Why should a whole beauty goddess be stressed and stained with such needless drudgery as registering for courses, attending classes and writing examinations? Now, if I did not read this outrageous story in a serious national newspaper, it would have been very difficult to be convinced that it actually happened.
Please, without wasting any time, my sincere advice to the parents of Miss Ibeaga is to politely turn down this Greek gift from a clearly misguided and confused deputy governor, ask their pretty daughter to just drop the useless crown at one corner of their house and go and join her mates to sit for the UME and be proud that she truly earned her admission. She is too young to be misled by some reckless and frivolous deputy governors.
No responsible parents would yield to the temptation of allowing their child benefit from the countless shortcuts created by our irredeemably devious ruling elite intent on distorting and perverting our organized system.
Who knows whether there may arise tomorrow 'a king who does not know Joseph', after the current disorderly crowd at the Government House, Owerri may have been dispersed, and the process through which Miss Ibeaga was offered admission comes under scrutiny? Please, she is too young to suffer the fate of that fellow who was forced to return to the long, tortuous route he had earlier avoided when the shortcut he gladly chose suddenly led him to a dead-end.
But can IMSU allow itself to be intimidated by the irresponsible pronouncement of a poorly informed deputy governor and admit this girl to read Medicine tomorrow? We are all shouting about falling standards, and here is a young girl being recklessly exempted from the requisite tests that would help vindicate her adequate preparedness for higher education.
The National University Commission (NUC) must now pay closer attention to the admission process at IMSU, given the kind of outrageous stories that usually emerge from there after every admission session, and now the extreme arbitrariness advertised by this deputy governor. Who knows how many poorly qualified candidates had been forced on IMSU by mere phone calls from the Government House?
What is the extent of powers and influence that can be exerted by the President or Governor as visitor to a public university? If admission offices are now extensions of Government Houses, then we are really in trouble. The NUC or whatever relevant body may do well to thoroughly investigate how Mrs. Okwuonu's children gained admission to the universities if they are studying in Nigeria. My feeling is that someone who could so brazenly pervert a system like this may just be a veteran in such acts.
Indeed, in several countries, entrance examinations are not required for university admissions, but the reality in Nigeria is that such tests are required, at leas, for admission to public universities. And no deputy governor has any rights to circumvent a dully laid down process.
By the way, what is a beauty pageant? My understanding is that it is an occasion where young girls are seduced by promises of big rewards to strip themselves to their usually very scanty undergarments, and flaunt the delicate parts of their bodies (the very pride of their womanhood) to service the depraved taste of lustful men, and even women.
It represents a brazen endorsement and glamorisation of voyeurism and moral irresponsibility in a manner no one had thought was possible in a decent society. Succinctly stated, it is nothing but an over-glamorized evidence of spiritual and moral bankruptcy. And because the organizers are always targeting tender and uninformed girls, it should qualify as some kind of youth abuse?
So, is this what the Imo Deputy Governor, whom I presume is a mother, is rewarding with an automatic university admission? Why do things like university admission, viewed with extreme seriousness in other climes, always get trivialized in Nigeria? When did beauty and possession of an immorally alluring body become necessary components of brilliance and qualification for higher education?
Well, only in Imo State, where, I hear, every failed artist seeking a goldmine heads to these days.
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steve Vienna, Austrai October 12, 2009
Mrs Deputy Governor please offer her scholarship instead of the short cut. way to get into University. Maybe the Deputy Governor got into university that way.
Please check her record.
oluwatoyosi Iseyin, Nigeria July 14, 2009
We complain why Nigerian universities produce poor 'graduates', i think some of the reasons are now forthcoming. May God help us with poor Educational sector and LEADERS!
make dey please allow OBAMA come next time. SINCERELY WE NEED A NEW IMAGE!!!!!
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