Oloyede’s JAMB saga By Segun Imohiosen


The fight against corruption today is a major milestone of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. It has not made this kind of impact in these three years that reverberates hope of success with the singular act of good governance, transparency and accountability exhibited by the Registrar of JAMB in recent time. The snake that refused to dance in “the dance of the python” but chose to swallow millions of naira has only helped in this piece to give credence to the man who chose to reverse the negative trend.
To have remitted that mind-blowing N7.8billion under a year of taking office as against the status quo ante in JAMB over the lifespan of the different administrations is outside the scope, smirks of abnormality. You will agree that this is not what we hear or see in Nigeria, rather these “cowboys” just loot their different organisations blind aand walk the streets even with security apparatus maintained by the taxpayer’s money. However, the persona of Ishaq Oloyede as a university teacher, a family man and a holder of public office as in the wave of the event of returning money to the government treasury is in total sync with his real self, no façade at all, integrity personified.
What obtains presently in JAMB at the instance of the current registrar could only have been borne out of an altruistic, selfless, and honest nature that have characterised his duty back then as a university teacher. This nature has ultimately come to play out in the public office. There is always a choice but his patriotic posture has taken the better of him and the result is the sanity that is growing in JAMB. In our time of the “winner takes it all” syndrome, this act is epical and legendary.
Of course, if there are snakes in JAMB, that same snake that swallowed N36million in the JAMB office in Benue state is resident in many other parastatals, agencies, commissions and various departments of government. To further borrow a wandering leaf, the failure to identify the snakes in other such revenue generating organisations of government could only translate to simply mean that there is the possibility of those in charge also being snakes. In this regard, it would be difficult to identify likes.
However, as we march towards economic and political recovery in Nigeria, it behooves us as a nation to dissociate from tribe, tongue and religious leanings to consciously turn our backs to nepotistic considerations but see the greater good of our nation first and then begin to throw up characters that will turn this country to a brand eventually. In the quest for sustainable economic development and growth, a couple of Oloyedes out there are enough a magic wand if they are rightly positioned to get the country back on its feet. That greatness that seemed to have eluded us as a nation is very achievable when the round pegs are put in the round holes. This largely is informed by the share sense of accountability exhibited by the Registrar, which ought not to be so difficult to display when holding public office. It is true that our common destiny of greatness as a nation could still be attained despite all the setbacks that have bedeviled us as a people over the years with the right people in place.
Recently, while this phenomenon at JAMB was interviewed, he mentioned an unusual occurrence in some parts of the country where some JAMB officials while conducting the CBT examination were offered money as bribes, up to the tune of a million naira to compromise the examination for the sake of the candidates out there. The officials understanding the precarious position they were allowed wisdom to take charge by agreeing to the offer for the sake of their safety. Wisdom the holy book say is profitable for direction. These officials having collected the gratifications deposited this large sum of money into the account of JAMB, wrote their reports and detailed the matter.
This is a phenomenon in times like this. It is not all the time you hear this kind of stories. The question one would probably be asking oneself is if this could be possible in this clime with the spate of poverty ravaging the nation. As they say, when the head is rotten, the whole body is bad and vice versa. The new wave of sanity in JAMB as it obtains from the top is gradually flowing to the rest of the officials at the different levels of responsibility. Needless to say that if this could be the situation in all other organisations of government in the country, alas, we would shout Eureka! It is not uhuru yet but we are already beating the path to that economic, social and political uhuru if the wave of accountability and patriotism that is presently blowing in JAMB could blow through every sector in Nigeria.

Imohiosen writes from Abuja. Email: [email protected]

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