By C Don Adinuba :
1. Following the spectacular performance of Anambra State pupils in the 2020 admission examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which saw Miss Agnes Ego Maduafokwa and Master David Nwobi post the best results throughout the country, the government and people of Anambra State have been rejoicing. The brilliant results are consistent with the tradition of academic excellence which the state has established in the last five years.
2. A handful of politicians of Anambra State origin have, however, been luring journalists and other societal influencers to stop Anambra people from celebrating the outstanding results because the young students did not sit for the JAMB examination in Anambra State. This campaign is not only politically motivated but mischievous. The campaigners are trying to create a dichotomy between our people in the state and our people outside the state.
3. They will not succeed. Ndi Anambra remain one united and indivisible people. There is no difference between Ndi Anambra at home and Ndi Anambra outside the state. That’s why when Dr Bennet Ifeakandu, a gifted forensic pathologist from Enugwu Ukwu in Njikoka LGA but based in the United States of America, discovered a disease which he named Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a disease well pronounced among sportspeople and has no cure, Governor Willie Obiano led Ndi Anambra to celebrate him.
4. If the campaigners against honouring the brilliant Anambra students, who excelled in the 2020 JAMB examination were not consumed by politics of hate, why didn’t they congratulate Anambra-based schools, teachers and administrators that won four out of the 24 prizes endowed by the Federal Ministry of Education, The Presidency as well as Nigeria Union of Teachers in a competition held on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Eagle Square, Abuja and went on to take home two of the four vehicles donated by the Federal Government to mark the 2019 World Teachers Day. Why did they keep mute when students of Regina Pacis Model Secondary School in Onitsha won on Thursday, August 9, 2018, the golden prize in the international competition for the use of the Internet among girl schools throughout the world, which was held in Silicon Valley, California?
5. Why did they refuse to congratulate the brilliant boys from St. John’s Science and Technical College, Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area that took the third position in the International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology (IFEST) held in Tunisia between February 21 and February 27, 2019?
6. Why did they bluntly refuse to identify with Mrs Rose Nkemdilim Obi, an Onitsha-based educationist, when she won the highly prestigious Maltina Teacher of the Year award organised by the Nigerian Breweries Plc., in October, 2015?
7. Did they congratulate Anambra students, who in 2015 represented Nigeria in South Korea and Germany in the Global School Debating Challenge and came third?
8. Why were they mute when Loretto Secondary School at Adazi in Aniocha LGA won in 2017 the first prize in the assessment of all senior secondary schools conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education?
9. Why did they, all of a sudden, turn deaf and blind when Queen of the Rosary College in Onitsha took the first position in the junior secondary schools category the same year?
10. Why didn’t they utter a word when Clement Okodo of Central School, Abagana in Njikoka LGA won the first prize in the teacher’s category the following year?
11. Can the handful of politicians tell the public why they kept quiet when in 2018, Mrs Amala Ezenwa, headmistress of Awada Primary School IV in Obosi, Idemili North LGA, was declared by the Federal Ministry of Education to be the best school administrator in Nigeria for the year?
12. Did they commend Mrs Uju Vera Ikeagwuani of Anglican Girls Secondary School in Onitsha when she was in 2018 awarded a prize for being the fourth best school administrator in the whole country?
13. Did they speak when on August 1, last year Anambra State took the first position in the National competition for excellence by states which promote small and medium enterprises, a prize it clinched through the establishment of the Shoe and leather products industry at Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area by the Chief Obiano administration?
14. Did they show solidarity with Anambra State and its people on the occasions it won the first prize for successful immunisation campaigns?
15. Did they praise Anambra people when the World Bank in September, 2018, declared the state the best implementer of World Bank-assisted projects in both the Southeast and South-South?
16. The irony of the handful of campaigners against honoring the two brilliant students from Anambra State who scored the highest marks in the 2020 JAMB examination on the ground that they did not write the exam in the state is that they were not born or raised in Anambra State. Nor have the campaigners ever worked or lived in Anambra State. Yet, they seek the highest political offices in the state. Going by the campaigners’ self-serving logic, they should not aspire to any office in the state because they are not based here.
17. Ndi Anambra are justified in their celebration of their children who made the best results in the 2020 JAMB examination. Miss Ego Maduafokwa, for one, broke the JAMB exam record by scoring 365 marks out of a maximum of 400. It will be wrong to ask her Ihiala LGA people not to honour her because she was born outside the area.
18. All well-meaning Ndi Anambra and, indeed, all Nigerians support the decision of the Obiano administration to formally honour the two outstanding students who have brought immense honour to our dear state.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation. (MOI)
Mr C Don Adinuba is Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment