(By Jim Isilebo)
While I have never, and will never support forgery- for-benefits of any form, let’s also be circumspect and mindful of how we relish pushing further the “Mmesoma” narrative as a newfound metaphor for cheating.
The young and hapless teenager just happened to be a product of her rotten and fraud-encouraging environment. She just put into practice and exemplified (though wrongly), what the system is gradually teaching her and a substantial statistics of her generation as a survivalist norm.
Unfortunately, Mmesoma and her poor family happens to find themselves within the societal strata of the population who are not disposed to fraudulent access to the oppressive state machinery of extricating themselves from the stranglehold of the establishment’s apparatus, ditto, the law, when caught in this sort of web.
Just look around us and tell me if you cannot find thousands of viciously entrenched “Mega Mmesomas” littering the landscape.? From the civil servant who continuously bribe the records department to tamper with their service files by falsifying their retirement age, thereby pushing it upwards; to politicians who impetuously file forged credentials, eg, academic qualifications, NYSC discharge certificates, in other to hoodwink/deceive the electoral body to win elections and subsequently preside over the affairs of people like you and I. We are all corporately guilty.
Just not too long ago, Nasarawa state government found out that some of the judicial officers presiding over some courts in the state judiciary never possessed the requisite certificates required of them; whereas they have been on the state employment for several years. Curiously, they were not found guilty of any offence and relieved from their appointments by the government, but rather were allowed sometime while still in service to upgrade themselves and continue serving. This definitely is an exemplification of the type of society Mmesoma is seeing as a looking-glass, and tomorrow the likes of these kind of judicial officers will preside over a court where Mmesoma will be adjudged for cheating. What an irony?
I remember in 1999, at the inception of this current democracy, one young chap from Katsina state named Salisu Buhari, then in his late twenties. He ran for House of Representatives and won, but curiously despite the fact that he was constitutionally underaged to run for house (since the prescribed age was 35), it was later discovered that he even filed in forged University of Toronto certificates with the electoral body. That not withstanding, he audaciously gunned for the highest office of the House of Representatives, the Speakership, and eventually won.
He may have probably not been caught if he had chosen to remain as an ordinary member, rather than placing himself in the eye of the storm by venturing to contest for the Speakership of that assembly.
At the moment, we have at least one example of a serving governor (Enugu state), who is desperately but shamelessly battling with his last drop of blood to retain his office at the governorship election petition tribunal (GEPT), despite NYSC’s vehement and incontrovertible testimony of the forgery of the discharge certificate he documented at INEC before running for the last gubernatorial election.
If the above is not a “Mega Mmesoma” ,then what do you say of a Presidential candidate of a major political party, whose entire documentations (birth, college and University, NYSC and work certificates), at the electoral body reeks of the most putrid and pungent odour that may pass Mmesoma’s falsification of JAMB result as a beautiful cologne with wonderful fragrance.
Just like our boisterous Festus Keyamo rightly opined on his Twitter handle recently, some of us may have willfully indulged in one sort of “Mmesomanistic” demeanor or the other, while growing up, and may have fraudulently risen on the societal ladder, while basking in the glory and beating our chest for making it in life.
The only difference was that we weren’t caught on the radar, but she unfortunately was caught pants down.
Therefore, what that little chap needs now is not all the vilifications and condemnations (because at her young age she has had a fair dose of that), rather what she desires at the moment is the required psychologist counselling to re-route her from this path of infamy she may have mistakenly fallen into. This will save her from “graduating” from this already discerned demeanor as a juvenile to the horrifying ganguantuan examples replete around us today.