Democracy in JAMB an afterthought

Students writing Jamb

Students writing Jamb

SIR: Before the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) reversed the somewhat draconian-destiny-diverting policy of posting students to higher institutions against their choice (a policy that now possibly leaves the future of students to machine intelligence) I personally have been in a long suspense waiting for the consequence of the unprecedented precedence. And finally, it stupefies me to see again that some people in position of power in Nigeria usually put the cart before the horse. Public opinion could have averted the pandemonium caused by JAMB.

However, this reminds me of the Classical poleis of ancient Greece which gave us the institution of Democracy. Possibly then, owing to the depth of knowledge available on how to organise people, there were often problems and civil strife was common. This made them imbibe the culture of compulsory originality, which a modern scholar on Greek history, Dr. G. O. Adekanmbi calls trial and error in reasoning out the right way of organising the people. The resolution to continuous strife then was the idea that you cannot successfully and legally rule a people against their wish, hence the system of government of the people by the people and for the people. Before this time, there had been Monarchy, Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Tyranny, and then the Demos. Democracy coming here as an afterthought is developmental, therefore intelligent, but in the case of JAMB, I leave you to decide what you think of it.

JAMB virtually exposed Nigeria’s young and brilliant minds to rebellion from the outset of their higher academic pursuit in life. This, if not averted, will normalise the prospective students of tertiary institutions to Aluta Continua. And this can only be a continuum if they eventually get the admission, so what sort of graduates are we going to be having in the coming years?

I do not know about all the countries of the world, but I do know a country whose practice of Democracy lacks public opinion in the smallest kernel, Nigeria. Advocate public opinion as a key element in the Nigerian Democracy; with public opinion, possible future tensions will be arrested before their arrival.

•Kariola Mustapha, University of Ibadan.

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