Jack was extremely brilliant at school. He was a symbol of excellence as long academic performance is concerned. He prepared for his exams with diligence and emerged with flying colours as the best graduating student of his Alma mater in the first class category in the field of engineering. But alas, Jack has been roaming the streets in search for jobs, 7 years after graduation to no avail!
But Mike, Jack’s course mate, who dropped out at 300 level is the member representing his constituency in his state assembly. How did it happen? A political godfather adopted him few years after he dropped out and sponsored him for the office. He emerged winner as the election was rigged in his favour by the moneybag godfather. However, this was not without an agreement for returns to the godfather.
The above fictional scenarios capture the status quo in our society today. Pursuit of excellence is no more beneficial because those who clench fortunes and prospects are they who are ready to play ball with the so called powers that be. Hard work at the institutions of learning has no prospects any more. Drop outs these days are those who call the shots and dictate the pace in whatever field you think of.
Check the profiles of our leaders today and get the shock of your life learning the prevalence of their mediocrities. The Dino Melaye’s certificate saga recently, opened a lot of can of worm. Who could have imagined that out of 109 senators in Nigeria, about 46 are not tertiary institution graduates according to reports that quoted Melaye. Consider the calibre of people making laws for professors, doctors, masters degree holders and graduates in our society. A case where the blind lead the sighted. This is so appalling, disheartening and regrettable! Little wonder nothing is working in our system.
I was so taken aback as social media users are campaigning vigorously for votes for their respective candidates in the inglorious, ignominious and infamous reality TV show ongoing. Thank God I have not watched that nonsense since it began. So I don’t know the rules of the game. It is so unfortunate that those coasting home to victory in the reality show as I learnt cannot even recite our national anthem. What a height of national embarrassment? That shows they have no place in excellence. Yet people are spending a lot of money voting for them to win. That is gross celebration of mediocrity at the expense of excellence!
Our nation cannot move forward until we think excellence first and accord it a pride of place. WE MUST SAY NO TO MEDIOCRITY AND PROMOTE EXCELLENCE!!
Kingsley Oguine writes from Lagos